This 2,400 square foot home will also be a space for Auyer’s parents, divided by an upper and lower part of the house, giving each couple their own bedroom and living room. The home will also run completely on electric power, using 80% less energy than the city’s building code. On top of that, the home’s design will keep the structure safer in a worst-case scenario, Auyer explained.
“Definitely felt like a little bit of a riskier area in terms of fires coming through,” said Auyer. “I think that we’re taking all the steps we can to make sure that if that kind of natural disaster does occur, that we’re prepared and we’ve done everything that we possibly can to protect this structure.”
The air-tight design of a Passive House helps to slow the spread of fires, which, as the Marshall Fire in Boulder County showed us, can happen in any neighborhood.
“You now have this opportunity to build something that could function even better than what you had before for your family and for the way that you want to live, as well as for the environments that surround you,” said Auyer.
Another benefit of the Passive House design is the highly efficient air filtration system that is installed, which constantly brings in fresh air and pumps out the old air. This filtration system also cuts down on allergens in the home, which was part of the reason Auyer first liked the idea of building to Passive House standards.
“I suffer from a lot of allergies and headaches and things that I know are related to … the environment that I’m living in, not just what’s going on inside my body,” said Auyer.
Getting the main structure up this spring was key for this family. Now they can take their time to do most of the internal structure building themselves with an estimated move-in date for sometime next summer.
While it took extra planning and coordinating, Auyer hopes others will see the achievability of this type of home and realize they too could build a home to Passive House standards for whatever reason fits best for them.
“It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture of super eco amazingness,” said Auyer. “We’re just building a house that functions like a house should. It functions easily. It just makes sense.”