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Posted: 2018-11-08 19:36:56

Graham Whiting of Whiting Design has been working on a Passive House design for a family of permaculture farmers south of Guelph, Ontario. TreeHugger Sami has written a lot about Permaculture, and says "the idea behind permaculture gardening is to use nature's own design tricks to create productive landscapes that do much of the work for you." That is pretty much what Passive House designers try to do- let the fabric of the building do the work of keeping you warm or cool instead of a lot of mechanical equipment and fossil fuels.

Passive House up closer© Whiting Design

In his book Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability, David Holmgren listed twelve design principles, the most relevant of which I include here.

Produce no waste: By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.

Whiting has designed a house at Wild Leek Farm that is almost more permaculture than Passive House. It is a simple form, a classic farmhouse of the kind that North Americans have been building for hundreds of years. Keeping it simple made it more affordable and enabled the owners to do a lot of the work themselves. Keeping it as a straightforward classic form made it easier to frame: "Careful attention was paid to advanced framing details, minimizing stud use and thermal bridging wherever possible." Nothing is wasted on jogs and bumps- it is economical and simple.

Use and value renewable resources and services: Make the best use of nature's abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.

not very big windows on wild leek farm © Whiting Design

It is not extravagant with resources. Take the windows; they are not huge floor to ceiling things, but designed with moderation. Engineer Nick Grant has noted that windows are much more expensive than walls and are lovely things, but truly a case of where you can have too much of a good thing, causing "overheating in summer, heat loss in winter, reduced privacy, less space for storage and furniture and more glass to

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