A look at the exterior of the new passive house in Comox, built by Griffith Homes. Photo supplied.

Comox gets its first built-to-standard passive house

Submitted to The Record

Griffith Homes has made its mark on sustainable innovation with the completion of a passive house in Comox. The new construction 2217 sq. ft. home, which broke ground last August, is designed and built to passive house standards. This home is equipped with a blend of state-of-the-art features and complemented with a modern, west coast design.

A passive house building standard is a scientifically supported building certification that designs buildings to provide optimal occupant comfort and health using minimal energy. This approach to design results in approximately an 80 per cent reduction in energy needed for heating.

“This process has shifted the way we look at building homes,” said Tavis Griffith, owner of Griffith Homes. “In the past, homes had a shelf life of 50 years. With the emergence of passive home standards, we are now able to build homes that stand the test of time with a lifespan of 200 to 300 years. We look forward to applying what we’ve learned to future builds.”

Unique features of the home include triple-pane, inward-opening windows, thick and continuous insulation and air-tight construction, a custom white oak floating staircase built in collaboration with the owner himself and a Zehnder Heat Recovery Ventilation System.

“The Zehnder Heat Recovery Ventilation System (HRV) can be thought of as the lungs of the house,” said Griffith. “The HRV cleans the air and removes pollutants, pollen and dust, making the air inside the home cleaner than the air outside. The HRV extracts moist air and keeps the house dry, a necessity on the West Coast. It can even help alleviate a variety of respiratory symptoms.”

Griffith Homes, which is based in the Comox Valley, has been in the community for over 28 years and has seen the demand for change in residential builds. Clients are becoming more knowledgeable and socially aware of their environmental footprint and have approached the company for more conscious ways to integrate sustainable options into their builds. On this project, Griffith Homes worked with the architectural design company, Fold Architecture Inc., and interior design firm, LH Interiors to provide their clients with everything on their wish list and more.

“Griffith Homes exceeded our expectations. It was important for us to have a contractor who understood good design and quality. There are a lot of wins with the quality of the space and the energy efficiency, and Griffith met the owners’ needs with very little compromise,” said Mark Ashby, architect for Fold Architecture Inc.

This passive home build was a first for the company, but one that is directly in alignment with the company’s core values. Griffith Homes looks forward to achieving Passive House accreditation on this house by undergoing the Passive House Canada Building Certification for this project.

For more information on this project or Griffith Homes, visit https://griffithhomes.ca/project/stewart-street/

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The floating staircase is one of the unique features of the home. Photo supplied

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