How to Build a Passive House Off-grid, and Without Foam by Andrew Michler, offers some creative solutions to a DIY project. The author, along with “an unseasoned team”, went on a building adventure to create a place to live in the Colorado Rockies that would be warm enough in the winter without working heat.
He got his hands especially dirty when he couldn’t find the right contractor to blow in cellulose for insulation. He purchased the machine and did it himself. Good for Andrew for going foam-free without help! What’s even cooler is that he used cellulose “recycled from nearby Denver and produced only 100 miles south.” His floor insulation was foam-free too, btw. His team dug a foundation stem wall and crawl space to make this possible.
The first blower door test went well, at 0.45 AHC50, which he achieved with proper sealing. “The ceiling and North wall were wrapped with Intello—a ‘smart’ membrane that changes its vapor profile depending on the relative humidity.” Nice! We supplied the INTELLO PLUS for this project.
As with any major project, it helps to retain a little humor. “To do air sealing right you have to find religion about making sure that every place where two building elements come together is properly sealed, well before they’re covered.” So true! Attention to detail and the right materials are key.
For some more great photos check out Andrew’s post. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about how to build a Passive House – DIY style. We’re committed to encouraging the foam-free quest with the best tapes, and membranes. We also offer state-of-the-art guidance through downloadable details, eBooks, videos. For those of you who want to follow in Andrew’s footsteps, check out our PHPP software.