8 tips for living in a passive house

Welcome to your passive house apartment.

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Your home is engineered to passive house standards—one of the highest standards for energy efficiency in the world—which significantly reduces its ecological footprint. Not only is this good for the planet, but it’s good for you too, as your utility bills will be drastically lower than in a conventional building.

Plus, your apartment is well-ventilated, quiet, maintains a comfortable temperature, and is a pleasant place you can call home while doing your part to reduce your impact on the environment.

How you can save more energy

You are billed for your unit’s electrical use, but you can control how much you use. Air conditioning is centrally operated and included in your rent. Your thermostat controls the wall radiator that adds extra heat to your room if needed (however, due to the building’s high heat-retention and ventilation, you’ll rarely—if ever—have to use it).

Here are some ways in which you can take full advantage of the passive house design for environmental and financial benefits:

1. Open your windows when the temperature outside is similar to the temperature you want inside.

Opening your windows will allow for direct circulation. Opening the windows is a good option during days when the temperature and humidity outside is about what you would want your apartment to be at, but during cold or hot days opening your windows will actually waste energy as heated or cooled air will leave the building.

2. Feeling warm? Turn on your fan.

While it won’t actually lower the temperature, turning your fan on will significantly increase how cool your apartment feels.

3. Use your blinds.

Closing your blinds will help keep your apartment cool during hot and sunny days. Having them open and the sun shining in will add warmth to your apartment in winter.

4. Don't add unnecessary heat and humidity.

This building is highly insulated. As such, any heat and humidity that’s produced stays longer, unless it is ventilated outside. On hot and humid days in the summer, you’ll want to keep your showers short and cool and keep the bathroom door closed before and after showing. Avoid cooking on the stove or in the oven—as well as the use of anything that produces heat (e.g. candles) as much as you can on hot, humid days.

5. Use your range hood.

Your range hood has carbon filters to reduce cooking odours. Because the building is so well ventilated, your range hood does not pump air from the apartment. Air is constantly removed and fresh air pumped in through the central exhaust system to ensure that you always have high air quality.

6. Turn off lights and appliances.

Making sure the lights and appliances (even your television!) are off when not in use will save significant energy every year, plus it will reduce the amount of heat in your apartment (more than you might expect).

7. Before your touch the thermostat...

Your heat is supplied through the building ventilation system, but you can add heat with your wall radiator. This can be controlled with the thermostat on your wall. Air conditioning is centrally operated, so is not connected to your thermostat.

8. Compost and recycle.

Recycling and composting is an important part of sustainable living. This building has both! You can bring them down, appropriately sorted, to the bins behind the building.

Passive House Basics

Summer Sun
Winter Sun

Strategic Solar Use

By using strategic building and window orientation and canopies over the windows that allow full sun in the
winter (when the sun is low) and less sun in the summer (when the sun is high) energy is saved.

1 of 5

Airtightness

This building has
no air leaks, ensuring that there are no drafts and no loss of heated or cooled air.

2 of 5

High Ventilation Levels

Your home is very well-ventilated to have
high quality, filtered air constantly pumped in to maximize your comfort. This air passes through heat recovery devices to retain heat in winter and coolness in summer.

3 of 5

Minimized Thermal Bridging

A thermal bridge occurs when a temperature conductive material runs directly from the inside to the outside of a building. These waste a lot of energy. Thermal bridges are virtually nonexistent in this building. The most noticeable impact for us has been that floors and walls are always at a comfortable temperature.

4 of 5

Extra Insulation

High levels of insulation retain heat in the winter and coolness in the summer. Triple pane windows ensure comfortable temperatures throughout your home.

5 of 5

Strategic Solar Use

By using strategic building and window orientation and canopies over the windows that allow full sun in the
winter (when the sun is low) and less sun in the summer (when the sun is high) energy is saved.

1 of 5

Airtightness

This building has
no air leaks, ensuring that there are no drafts and no loss of heated or cooled air.

2 of 5

High Ventilation Levels

Your home is very well-ventilated to have
high quality, filtered air constantly pumped in to maximize your comfort. This air passes through heat recovery devices to retain heat in winter and coolness in summer.

3 of 5

Minimized Thermal Bridging

A thermal bridge occurs when a temperature conductive material runs directly from the inside to the outside of a building. These waste a lot of energy. Thermal bridges are virtually nonexistent in this building. The most noticeable impact for us has been that floors and walls are always at a comfortable temperature.

4 of 5

Extra Insulation

High levels of insulation retain heat in the winter and coolness in the summer. Triple pane windows ensure comfortable temperatures throughout your home.

5 of 5

Send a note of encouragement

Now more than ever, it is important that our tenants feel connected with others, even if they cannot be physically connected. Send a note of encouragement to be shared with our tenants who are feeling isolated at this time.

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