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the springhouse -- la maison des sources

A solid second passive house certified in Quebec!

The first certified new construction in the province.

This passive house near the village of Abercorn in the Eastern Townships is already LEED Platinum and just certified Passive House by PHIUS (Passive House Institute US). ​

A straightforward construction that cost less than $165/ft2 furring to furring. 
At 1980ft
2, the perfect size for a family.

  • A simple, compact design following rigorous standards with the help of energy modelling software.

  • From the architect to the carpenters, all the players were on board from the very start.

  • Regularly inspected by a third party.

  • Built to take advantage of renewable energy sources like solar and geothermal.

  • Super insulated and ultra airtight, it garnered top marks in airtightness with a whopping (0.1 ACH50).

  • Equipped with a sophisticated air exchanger that recuperates heat from the outgoing air.

  • Built simply with renewable, durable materials.

  • Its energy costs are $702 annually — roughly 90% less than a new house built to code.

  • It stays comfortable despite Quebec’s weather extremes.

  • Plus it’s nice to look at!

 

Building an ecological house or a passive house is definitely a challenge and Quebec’s punishing climate doesn't make it any easier. Then there's the difficulty of finding the right building materials and know-how and the inevitable resistance of subs who “just don’t do it that way.” Despite all that, the house only cost us an extra 15% to build than a code house (including certification costs, inspections and modelling). It can be done.

 

The important thing to keep in mind — the thing that is too often overlooked in debates about houses built to the Passive House or LEED Platinum standard — is that adhering to their rigorous criteria of quality, durability, efficiency doesn’t just mean substantial energy savings. It also means virtually eliminating nasty surprises and faults in construction. It substantially reduces maintenance and repair costs, it mitigates the impact of the worksite on the environment, improves air quality, betters quality of life and, above all, lessens the environmental impact of the daily lives of the home’s inhabitants in a way that is hard to quantify monetarily... because it’s priceless.

Building a LEED Platinum and PHIUS+ house is our attempt to raise the bar for construction in Quebec. The Springhouse, along with other ecological buildings in Quebec (like the Ozalée house — the first PH certified renovation in Quebec), all contribute to changing mentalities, to educating the public and, we hope, to pulling ecological construction out of the margins into the norm.  With more readily available materials and a skilled labour force there is no reason ecological, energy-efficient homes shouldn't be affordable and accessible to all.

WHAT 475 HAS
TO SAY ABOUT
THE SPRINGHOUSE

CONSTRUCTION

Construction details

INVESTMENT

How much it cost us and how much we'll save.

CREDITS