Construction professionals are constantly on the lookout for ways to cut costs while maintaining build quality. This is easier said than done. Typically, when new building materials and processes are introduced, they either require a steep learning curve or increase project budgets by an unsustainable margin. Fortunately, the advent of panelized passive house systems has helped builders achieve passive levels of performance without the exorbitant costs often associated with this unique building practice.
In this article, a construction law attorney in Brentwood, TN, will introduce the benefits of panelized passive houses. Remember, as you take on new building projects and embrace innovative building techniques, a construction lawyer can help you maintain compliance with a broad range of laws and regulations.
Passive House Principles
According to Passive House Institute US: “Passive building comprises a set of design principles used to attain a quantifiable and rigorous level of energy efficiency within a specific quantifiable comfort level.” Passive building is based on five building-science principles:
- Implements continuous insulation throughout the entire structure without the need for thermal bridging.
- The building is verifiably airtight to prevent outside air from infiltrating and internal cooled air from escaping.
- Utilizes double- or triple-paned windows and high-performance doors to effectively manage solar gain and diffusion.
- Incorporates balanced heat- and moisture-recovery ventilation.
- Employs a minimal space conditioning system.
An Overview of Panelized Passive Houses
Building homes using panels is cost effective and customizable, which has made it a popular method for contractors and homeowners alike. Quality control for homes built from panels is relatively sound due to their factory origin, and workers can quickly construct these homes with relative ease. This is extremely important during a time when a nationwide skilled labor shortage is curtailing building initiatives at an increased rate. Although passive building practices are usually more costly due to their strict principles, incorporating panelization allows less skilled workers to construct technically sophisticated homes that would otherwise require extremely precise construction.
Pros and Cons of Panelized Passive Houses
The main drawback of building panelized passive houses is that contractors need an off-site location to design building systems from the ground up. The initial investment in facilities and equipment to make this a reality is steep. Fortunately, contractors can outsource panel construction to companies specializing in factory homes. These companies can provide walls, floors, and roof panels with pre-installed doors and windows to expedite the construction process. More importantly, they can adapt production to optimize their panels for various climates and locales.
Another minor caveat is that panelization makes home alterations more difficult. If a window is placed in the wrong location, it’s difficult to address the problem without compromising the principles of passive building. Due to this, panelized passive houses must be meticulously planned and executed.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.