Two Rocks is a Net-Zero Passive House in rural Nova Scotia.
Key products used:
Vetta Windows, locally sourced pine cladding, charred cedar siding, whitewashed maple floors;
What was the brief?
This home was designed for sustainability and beauty. As a Net-Zero Passive House the technical objectives were energy efficiency, healthy interiors and extreme comfort. Aesthetically the goal was to create a distinctive modern home that felt warm, comfortable, and rooted to the land.
Who are the clients and what's interesting about them?
A doctor and a food writer and their two sweet children. They were drawn to the tranquility and fertility of the property. They are developing the land as a small farm with fruit orchard and extensive vegetable and herb gardens.
What were the key challenges?
A Passive House relies on large areas of south glazing and minimal north glass, however the owners wanted to highlight the stunning north view of Cape Blomidon. Additionally, the property contains acres of forest, and the homeowners requested a wood fireplace to burn site sourced fuel. However it is not ideal to have a wood fire in a Passive House due to the high level of airtightness and insulation as it will get too hot inside.
What were the solutions?
Design optimization through energy modeling showed that with European Passive House windows the desired window openings could work with minimal compromise to the performance target. We figured out that the stunning north view would cost them $28 per year - well worth it. Locating their fireplace in the same space as the big windows would limit the impacts of overheating. They may sometimes get too hot but effectively the fire and the windows cancel each other out. A low output model fireplace with a dedicated air intake was sourced.