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south surrey passive house

Savings by Design: $60 power bills for this South Surrey Home

By Joy WoodRise Writer
Jan 17, 2018

It’s been said that necessity is the mother of all invention, and when it comes to building passive homes one can also often throw in the words: ‘intention’ and ‘innovation’. Why? When we set out with an intention to be sustainable in our home building ventures and work with like-minded companies, the innovative results often surpass our expectations.

Surrey Passive House Duplex 6

To create this innovative prefab passive home in South Surrey, three generations of the same family came together with Marken Design and Consult in Vancouver in search of a common goal: to build a beautiful, comfortable home that could sustainably house all three generations. They worked closely together to produce a plan that ticked all the boxes on their wish list.

Surrey Passive House Duplex

The intention?

A close, connected family unit, energy conservation (and savings!), a smaller footprint, and list items that included rainwater collection for toilet flushing and locally sourced materials (when possible and appropriate). 

They went further and included recycled materials when available, and smart, sustainable choices for all millwork and flooring. Low VOC products were used and the landscaping incorporated native plants and thoughtfully included permeable paving, which reduces the need for man-made irrigation and even reduces ambient temperatures.

Solar panels power the house’s hot water needs, and a high-efficiency gas fireplace and gas range in the kitchen also contribute to ‘clean heating’. Indoor air quality is taken care of by the RecoupAerator® 200DX, which stabilizes temperature and humidity in such a way it keeps mold spores and dust mites from surviving and multiplying.

Surrey Passive House Duplex 2

Energy Conservation is Key

With passive homes, the number one priority is energy conservation. Passive homes use up to 65% less energy compared to a traditional house. The passive house standard seeks to reduce a building’s energy consumption for heating and cooling by up to 90%. Passive homes are extremely well insulated and virtually air-tight, creating an environment where constant temperature fluctuations aren’t creating the need to heat, cool, and repeat the process each time the door opens!

Surrey Passive House Duplex 5

The Results?

This multi-generational family saved untold amounts of money (and precious resources, talk about reducing your footprint!) by building just one home instead of three. The proximity of grandparents for childcare, healthcare, and more can’t be overstated. But the most stunning results are in the numbers: in a year and a half, they haven’t had to turn on the heat once. And, um, the power bill is $60 per month. Yes, just $60 to power an entire home.

Surrey Passive House Duplex 4

And the Award Goes to…

All of this sustainable beauty didn’t go unnoticed. The city of Surrey awarded this home with not one but two New City Design Awards; the Clean Energy City Excellence Award: outstanding & innovative contributions in energy efficiency & conservation, and the New City Design Award of Merit: individual architectural excellence. So three cheers for sustainable home dreams!

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: 2023-11-20T18:06:11+0000
Joy Wood

Article by:

Joy Wood

Joy grew up in the natural beauty of the North Okanagan, nestled near the foot of the Monashee Mountains. Hailing from a family of home builders, both the environment and home construction became closely intertwined in her youth. Today, she and her builder hubby are raising their family in Vancouver, where she avidly follows the current sustainable construction trends as the city aims for the title of ‘Greenest City’ by 2020.