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Falls Church’s Pimmit Hills neighborhood has first ‘passive house’ in Fairfax County
by Tom Jackman, The Washington Post

With the interest in living green, and the issue of sustainability having grown exponentially in the U.S. over the past two decades, it is no surprise that energy-efficient building has also grown in the DC-metropolitan area.

Dobson Building + Remodeling is proud to say that it has gone beyond the mainstream of energy-efficiency by building the first passive house in Fairfax County with the help of architect, Peter Henry.  It is only the fourth of its kind in the DC-metro area.

Passive house standards are the most stringent building standard, in terms of energy efficiency, in the world, using 90% less energy than conventionally constructed homes.  Imagine that, in a standard house, there is typically the equivalent of a 2’x2’ hole in the house with all of the normal seams, and how much air travels into and out of that house in an hour. A passive house can only have the equivalent of a 1.5” x 1.5” inch hole, and that amount of air escaping and entering.

According to Peter Henry, “By being structurally efficient, we can be thermally efficient as well. Since half of all energy loss in conventional wall pass through the wall’s structure, we have eliminated all of the excess framing found in conventional houses which increases the effectiveness of our insulation greatly. Taking this step during the house construction will add up to an energy savings in the life of the house in excess of what it costs to build and for only a small increase in construction costs compared to a standard house.“

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