Living and Learning in TerraHaus Douglas Fox Director, Center for sustainability and Global change Hannah Kreitzer Student Unity College, Unity maine
Unity College • 570 students • Environmental degrees, organized into five Centers • Center for Sustainability and Global Change • Center for Biodiversity • Center for Natural Resource Management and Protection • Center for Experiential and Environmental Education • Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities • Home of Unity House: The First LEED Platinum President’s House Focus: Scientific Sustainability
Location: Unity, Maine—Lat 46° Long 69° Central Maine If we can do it here, it can be done anywhere
TerraHaus: The First Passive House College Residence in North America • 2186 square feet • 10 students • Apartment-style living Photo credit: Jonah Gula • Designed to Passive House Standards
The Passive House (Passivhaus) Standard • The standard was created by the PassivhausInstitut in Darmstat, Germany in 1996 • It is the highest international energy standard Passive House buildings use less than 10% of the space heating fuel used by similarly sized code-compliant buildings in the region to maintain a 70° F temperature.
What does a 90% energy reduction mean? TerraHaus 80 gallons of fuel oil per year (equivalent) • Standard Home • 900 gallons if new construction built to current code • 950 gallons of Oil if weatherized older home • 1330 gallons if not weatherized
What does a 90% energy reduction mean? • TerraHaus • ½ cord of firewood • Standard Home • 5 cords of wood if built to current code
What does a 90% energy reduction mean? • TerraHaus • 1-2 standard hair dryers
What does this mean for Unity College? • TerraHaus • 80 gallons of oil equivalent • 10 students • 8 gallons of oil per student • $32 per year per student for space heating • Replaced Cottages • 625 gallons per cottage • 4 students per cottage • 156 gallons per student • $624 per year per student for space heating
What does this mean for Colleges in Cold Climates? • TerraHaus • 0.04 gallons of oil per square foot • 8 gallons of heating oil per student per year • Wood Hall • 0.54 gallons of oil per square foot • 82 gallons of heating oil per student per year
What could this mean for Maine and the World? • Unity, Maine pop. 1889 • ~500 homes • 1687 average square feet per home • Average energy cost 0.33gal heating oil/square foot • 253,050 gallons of oil used per year currently (wood, pellets, propane converted to oil basis for this calculation) At the passive house standard our small town of 1889 residents would save 219,310 gallons of oil or $778,550 per year. (@$3.55/gallon for #2 heating oil)
Energy Conservation Design Features Superinsulation Superior Air Sealing Passive Solar Windows and Orientation Solar Hot Water Heat Recovery Ventilation High occupancy Photo credit: Jonah Gula
Superinsulation • Structural Insulated Panels • No thermal bridging • High R-Value
Superinsulation R 50 Walls R 32 Foundation R 84 Roof R 9 Windows No Thermal Bridging EPS for low GHG emissions
Air Sealing Passive House Standard is less than 0.6 ACH50 Blower Door tested Bottom line: This is a very, very, tight building!
Heat Recovery Ventilation HRV exchanges stale air with fresh air from the outside, reclaiming 88% of heat of the stale air Exhaust from kitchen and bathrooms Fresh air enters into the bedrooms and main room Zero degree outside air will be warmed to 62° before it enters the rooms using the heat from the exhaust air
Solar: Passive Solar Windows South windows pick up the equivalent of about 70 gallons of oil per heating season Superinsulated German Windows High Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC = 0.6) Photo credit: Jonah Gula
Solar: Solar Hot Water Supplies 60% of the domestic hot water needs (showers, dishwashing, etc.)
High Occupancy • 10 students in 2186 square feet • Separate showers and toilet rooms • Good acoustical separation • Open design, white walls, large windows • Ample storage space • Individual thermostats in bedrooms Photo credit: Jonah Gula
The Design Process • Design charrettes with students • Outdoor gathering spaces • Places for gardening • Quiet study spaces • Lots of light • Storage for outdoor recreation equipment • And on, and on…
The Education Program Environmental Citizen Course Public Lectures by the Architect and Builder Publishing the Passive House The Unity Passive House Blog Tours Media outreach
Cost • At $470,000, the cost was below average for residence halls in the northeast measured by cost per square foot or per student. Photo credit: Jonah Gula Passive heating saves on construction and maintenance costs—no chimney, boiler, or plumbing needed for the heating plant. Abramson, P. 2011. Building for the Future. College Planning and Management, June 2011.
TerraHaus: Science and Art Our next Step: Build two more residences to complete the Sonnenhaus Village Photo credit: Jonah Gula
TerraHaus Collaborators Kendeda Fund Bangor Savings Bank GO Logic Ann Kearsley Design For more information: www.terrahaus.wordpress.com Photo Credit: Jonah Gula