I was lucky enough to preview California's first certified Passive House located in Sonoma, California. Unlike many green/eco-friendly homes that have a tendency to be sleek and modernist, this home is described as a warm, modern farmhouse. The home definitely felt cozy aesthetically as well as climatically. Owned by Catherine O'Neill, the home is not only the first certified Passive House in California… …but the first certified Passive House retrofit in the country.
A new standard in ultra-low energy design and construction, Passive Houses use the same amount of energy for heating as it takes to run a hairdryer. The Passive house concept was conceived in Germany twenty years ago and has warmed hearts and homes all over Europe. Landing in the United States in 2003, Passive House has been gaining momentum and notoriety (see our recent Re-Nest post) as of late, with the construction of Passive Houses all across the U.S.
If you are interested in taking a closer look at the O'Neill Passive House, public tours will be offered Saturday October 23rd & Sunday October 24th from noon to 4 p.m. $25 entrance fee, all proceeds to be donated to Habitat for Humanity.
Images: Ned Bonzi Photography