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A Passive House in New Brunswick Gets a Touch of Romanian Flair

A Passive House in New Brunswick Gets a Touch of Romanian Flair

By Rise
Mar 28, 2017

Ryan and Teo Strynatka are the proud homeowners of this Romanian inspired Passive House marvel. Thanks to Southern Exposure and Thoughtful Dwellings, it is also one of the most airtight homes in Canada (Penniac, NB).
This gem is truly one of a kind: with the aesthetic charm of Teo's home country, stunning views, and plenty of solar gains, this home is nothing short of impressive.

romanian passive house backyard

Why They Did it?

For Ryan and Teo, choosing to build the way they did come down to this:

We were living in an incredibly energy inefficient home when we made the decision to build, so we started out simply thinking about efficiency. We had never heard about passive housing and weren't even aware of it being an option. However, after a recommendation from a colleague and some initial research, we checked out a local passive house and were inspired by not only the efficiency but also the building "fundamentals" of passive housing.

romanian passive house kitchen
"Given our local climate, it felt like building passive would be a great fit for us. - Ryan Strynatka"
romanian passive house kitchen island

Taking this a step further, anyone who cares about the following may want to take a second look at building Passive:

  1. unmatched comfort
  2. superb air quality
  3. extremely resilient building
  4. the path to net-zero

These are the principles behind Passive House (Passiv Haus) - the emerging home building standard that is gaining popularity worldwide and paving the way for high-performance homes. Read more about Passive House HERE.

romanian passive house living room

Why Anyone/Everyone Can Build This Way

Although Passive Homes may seem extreme for some when it comes to designing and building a new home, it's clear from these homeowners that it doesn't have to be complicated, and is about paying attention to the right things:

It is a great way to live - with very significant energy savings over time. We found ourselves entirely warm throughout the winter, and the constant intake and circulation of fresh air translate into better air quality. Consistent temperatures and the lack of "cold spots" were a tremendous improvement over our previous living situation. Another consideration is that building passive forces you to think about the effective use of space. It doesn't need to be more expensive than a conventional build if you're willing to compromise on the square footage or design more effectively. - Ryan Strynatka

passive house with plants

Passive House Doesn't Have to be Complicated

If you're considering building a Passive House, engaging with an experienced Passive House Builder and/or Designer may be in your best interest; in any case, the foundations of what these homes look to achieve can be utilized for any new home. So while Passive House has its own certification, the principles that guide this framework are certainly applicable to any new build. Further, some jurisdictions across the World like Ireland, are actually making Passive House the standard. Here are the foundations of Passive:

  • Continuous insulation with no thermal bridging (read: a uniform insulation layer that prevents temperature to travel through bridge materials like wood)
  • Extremely airtight building envelope to prevent outside air coming in, and inside air going out
  • Uses high-performance windows and doors
  • Typically utilizes some form of balanced heating and moisture recovery ventilation system, with minimal space conditioning
  • Solar gains are managed to exploit the sun's heating capability in the colder months and minimize it in the warmer months.

Ryan and Teo's home has been pre-certified Passive and is in the process of receiving its Passive House Certification via the Irish Passive House Academy.

'The only real surprise we had is that the house, quite frankly, has entirely outperformed our expectations. Also, another often unpublicized benefit is that the thick walls and triple-glaze windows have a sound-proofing effect. So not only is passive housing efficient and healthy, it is quiet as well.


Visit a Passive House

More than bragging rights and amazing specs, Passive Homes really create an amazing feeling for its inhabitants in that the homes are incredibly comfortable to live in. Visiting a Passive House may certainly convince you of this. Luckily you can visit Passive Homes through the International Passive House Association, which has homeowners open their doors for tours - schedule found HERE.

romanian passive house dining room

Why We Love it

  • One of the most air-tight homes in Canada
  • Incomparable Comfort
  • Solar Hot water heater
  • Siding from locally harvested and milled white cedar.
  • Roofing is made from recycled rubber and plastic and is a local product.
  • Cellulose insulation made locally & from recycled newsprint.
romanian passive house hall


  • Lot: Private 1.9 acres
  • Square Footage: 3,600 sqft
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Baths: 3.5
  • Built: 2015

You can find out more about the details and specs of Ryan and Teo's house HERE.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute a product endorsement however Rise does reserve the right to recommend relevant products based on the articles content to provide a more comprehensive experience for the reader.Last Modified: 2020-07-14T15:00:54+0000

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