Today was the initial blower door test at the Kamp Kaolin site. With all the passive house building methods used at Kamp Kaolin, we were very excited and confident going into the test. In the above picture is David Berg (right) of DSB Energy Services and Hugh Lofting (left) are installing the frame of the blower test in a window because the door openings were too large for the frame. Kamp Kaolin came in at 0.88 air changes per hour (ACH) at 50 Pascal, which is very good! After the dense packed cellulose and dry wall are installed this number should go down. The passive house standard is 0.6 ACH at 50 Pascal. Even though the Kamp Kaolin project is not going for certification, we are striving to hit all the passive house standard milestones.
Scheduled for completion in November 2014, Kamp Kaolin is a high-performance 2,700-square-foot private home on a secluded site in Chester County, PA. HJLCMS collaborated with the homeowners and architect Townsend Moore of Tick Hill Studios. Design and construction for the project are based on passive house principles and building science. Building science focuses on the analysis and control of building materials and building envelope systems. In this case, building science is informing a passive design. Passive houses generally achieve energy savings of 60-70 percent through super-insulation and airtight building envelopes, highly efficient HVAC systems or energy recovery ventilation, high-performance windows, and moisture control. Kamp Kaolin incorporates air and moisture barrier zip systems and super insulation as well as a closed-loop pond geothermal system for extremely efficient heating and cooling. The 2,700-square-foot house also features aging-in-place amenities (roll-in showers, single-floor living), advanced home automation systems (systems and lighting controlled via smart phones and tablets), the warm beauty of timber framing, and integration of indoors and outdoors through an open floor plan with few interior walls, an expanse of windows on the rear of the house that provide pond views, dual rear porches – one open and one screened – and natural, limited-maintenance landscaping.