Award Won for Alta Lake Passive House


Innovative and distinguished projects from across the globe were recently celebrated at the 2016 Wood Design Awards in British Columbia, Canada. The 12th annual event showcased projects from single-family homes to large public buildings, demonstrating what is possible with wood and world-class design expertise. The impressive Alta Lake Passive House in Whistler, British Columbia won the Environmental Performance Award for demonstrating a significant contribution to boosting the overall environmental performance of a building.

Zehnder America applauds the project achievements and the opportunity to boost indoor air quality in the home with its heat recovery ventilation system. Owners Karen and Karel Jonker were delighted to win the prestigious accolade stating, “It feels like we won an Academy Award!”

When designing the project, the Jonker’s wanted a modern home that featured panoramic views of Alta Lake and the mountain to the east, while also working within the constraints of a steep and compact building site. This stunning house meets stringent Passive House efficiency criteria for using 90% less energy for heating and cooling than a code-built home, without compromising on design.

Murdoch + Company Ltd. designed Alta Lake Passive House to maximize winter solar gains and reduce the heating load while enabling both occupant privacy and scenic views. Exterior window blinds and overhangs prevent the home from overheating in the warmer months, while exterior design treatments showcase the possibilities of wood construction. Alta Lake Passive House is air sealed to reduce heat loss through cracks in the building enclosure and features a highly insulated roof, wall, and floor system.

To improve indoor air quality and energy efficiency, the home features a Zehnder ComfoAir 550 heat recovery ventilation HRV system. These units provide balanced ventilation throughout the home, without compromising energy efficiency. Zehnder heat recovery ventilators filter incoming air to remove pollutants. A steady stream of fresh air is supplied to the bedrooms and living spaces in the home while removing stale air, odors, moisture, and fumes from the kitchens and bathrooms.

The Zehnder ComfoAir 550 HRV transfers heat from the exhaust air to the intake air, achieving up to 84% efficiency. This ventilation system boosts comfort and indoor air quality in the home, ensuring lower heating and cooling costs.

Projects like the Alta Lake Passive House are demonstrating that Passive House-certified projects are possible, even in tight building spaces or steeply graded sites. The project achieves exceptional levels of energy efficiency, homeowner comfort and indoor air quality, and uncompromised design, making it worthy of such an esteemed award.