The Seattle-based design/build firm responsible for bringing the first built-on-spec infill passive house to the Pacific Northwest has launched a new bi-weekly video series detailing the creation said home and explaining the rigorous ins and outs of Passivhaus building in general. The first video in the six-part series was launched to line up with YouTube’s inaugural Geek Week, because, as Dwell Development principal Anthony Maschmedt explains, building uber-efficient airtight homes is “pretty darn geeky.”

The first video, which is decidedly more family-friendly than this Passivehaus PSA from Belgium, features Maschmedt along with Passivhaus consultants Brute Force Collective and third party certifier Tadashi Shiga of Evergreen Certified. Future installments will also feature the proud owners of the high-peformance three-bedroom home built as part of Dwell Development’s transit-oriented green micro-community, Columbia Station at Rainer Vista, in southeast Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood.

It’s an interesting watch for green building geeks and the Passiv-curious alike that attempts to demystify the super-stringent energy standard while also documenting Dwell’s not-always-easy journey to passive house-dom. Click here to subscribe to Dwell Development’s YouTube channel so that you don’t miss future clips as they're released. Or you can wait until the last installment goes live on Oct. 15 for a bit of educational, Netflix-style binge watching. More performance-related nuts and bolts on the home can be found at Built Green where it was featured as the organization's August case study.

And in other passive house news out of the Emerald City, Park Passive, Seattle’s first standalone certified passive house, was recently completed on a small infill lot in the Madison Park neighborhood. A collaboration between developer Cascade Built — I previously featured Cascade’s Alley House 2 as part of my Evergreen homes series — and Marie Ljubojevic and Lauren McCunney of NK Architects, the 2,700-square foot home was certified by the Passive Academy under the authorization of Germany’s Passivhaus Institut. Featuring four bedrooms and three baths, it’s a stunning, rather tricked-out work of sustainable building and design— the modern design is “bold as the Passive House concept itself” — geared to consume 90 percent less energy than typical homes (and 75 percent less than new abodes built to current code standards).

Aside from the passive house standards (heat recovery ventilator, high-performance windows, insulation galore, a hairdryer etc.) Park Passive boasts salvaged woodwork, soaring vaulted ceilings, an induction cooktop, high-end appliances, and a roofdeck with views of Lake Washington and the Cascades.

A featured stop on the American Institute of Architects’ first-ever Explore Design Home Tour (Sat. Sept. 14), Park Passive was designed and built to demonstrate that “luxury and sustainability can co-exist.” It was also designed with the needs of a growing family in mind as it was built as a private home for Cascade Built founder Sloan Ritchie, his wife, Jennifer, and their two young children.

Ritchie lays out the basic benefits of passive houses in a recent press release issued by his company:

Inefficient buildings are the number one consumer of energy in the world, and the largest contributor to climate change. Passive House design standards offer a way forward towards net-zero building with strategies that are relatively easy to implement – better windows and doors, more insulation, improved air sealing. Unlike asking people to stop driving their cars, Passive House reduces our carbon footprint while increasing comfort and quality of life.
Any other passive house-related goings-on in Seattle this summer that I missed?

Park Passive photo: Aaron Leitz Photography

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Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Passiv party: Big, airtight happenings on Seattle's green building scene
Dwell Development documents the Puget Sound's first spec passive house while Cascade Built unveils the city's first certified PH dwelling.