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Comox Low Energy

Passive House

A home in Comox BC integrates site, energy and lifestyle for an active couple in a Passive House Certified Low-Energy house.

Located near the centre of an urban village, this home is designed around the Owner's active lifestyle including athletic pursuits, water sports and craftsmanship.


The design follows passive design principles that informed the unconventional linear form to gain additional south-facing windows along the side-yard facing façade.  A detached workshop in the rear yard encloses the main entertaining patio and screens a private deck and hot-tub. Fitted as a woodworking shop to support the Owner's boat-building passion, the workshop defines outdoor rooms, extending the living space of the modestly scaled house.

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The house plan follows a contemporary design with a recessed front entry and open plan living space. The master-bedroom suite is on the ground floor to enable ageing in place. The upper floor contains a guest bedroom, office 'flex' space, mechanical closet and a vaulted overlook into the living space below. The Owner contributed to the design and construction of a steel and oak beam stair that appears to float free of the wall above the landing.


The house balances compact efficiency with design. Recessed overhangs provide shading to the south-facing windows and transition the interior space to the patios. Wood features prominently throughout the home, a reflection of the Owner's interests.


The house is super insulated and achieved an airtightness of 0.2 air-changes per hour - an extraordinary accomplishment for the Contractor's first passive-designed home. Passive House Institute certified windows, doors, and ventilation system combined with two ultra-efficient heat-pumps for hot water, heating and cooling result in an anticipated space heating demand of only 28 kWh/m2a.


This house was awarded Low-Energy Status by the Passive House Institute.


Mark Ashby Architecture - 2020

Contractor: Griffith Homes

Photo Credit: Luke Phillips/ LSP Media

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