Defined by sun floods, through views, and candy-coloured stairwells, the new, six-storey Passive House Skeena residence provides 220 modified traditional bedrooms and support amenities. Completing an ensemble of buildings surrounding the Commons lawn at UBC Okanagan campus in Kelowna, BC, the residence provides easy access to outdoor green space for picnics, fitness, or just hanging around.
More than with conventional building methodologies, an integrated design process is vital to achieving Passive House. A conventional design process begins with broad strokes and becomes further refined with each iteration. With Passive House, however, details rule: even fasteners become an essential element because of their ability to conduct heat. Designing the details in preliminary phases allows for accurate energy modeling.
The Passive House process accelerates decision-making and is heavily weighted toward preliminary design with significant time and cost savings achieved by working through problems in the beginning.
Energy invested early in the design pays off over the lifetime of the building. To demonstrate the efficiency of the residence: at the coldest point in the year, more than ¼ of the heat required for the building is supplied by student body heat.