The Passive House Design

Feb 16, 2019

Our Methods

At McDonald Brothers Construction, we’re always looking for new ways of doing things. Since officially entering the construction industry in 1988, we have been constantly evolving alongside the industry and are always looking for new ways of completing projects. However, our primary focus has never been altered. That focus of course is to provide our clients with the highest quality project that we are capable of building. Alongside this, we take into consideration many things, including what the impact on the environment will be throughout the construction process, as well as how much of an ecological footprint will be left behind once the structure is fully functional and operational.


Keeping Up With The Times

In recent years, one of the more prominent features that we sought out while working alongside our architect teams is the Passive House Design. This stems from the fact that the Passive House Design is incredibly environmentally friendly. The concept of the design revolves around the idea of reusing heat in buildings. Essentially, the intent of the Design is to construct a building that will not require heavy duty heating and air conditioning appliances, and instead rely on its design, in order to minimize and phase out the excessive use of fossil fuels. Only a mid-size mechanical appliance will be required to help circulate the air from outside the building to inside and vice-versa.

This design is becoming increasingly popular and favorable amongst many of our clients today. A major increase in the popularity of this design is not only based on its positive environmental impact, but also on the significant amount of money that is saved on utility costs. In many cases, the money that is saved on the utilities is instead being utilized on other elements of the building such as high-grade insulation, thermal windows and detailed ventilation systems.

The Passive House Design In Our Work

One of MBC’s major projects that will thrive on this design is the building that we are constructing for Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) on Merivale Road. This project will be one of the city’s most energy efficient buildings when it is completed, as it is one of Ottawa’s first Passive House designs – meaning it will rely on building techniques and materials instead of HVAC to keep its residents comfortable through the cold winters and warm summers. One of the major factors that help contribute to the Passive House Design are the windows that are tested to ensure adequate insulation. The windows in the picture above are a part of our project at Merivale, and are expected to use 85 per cent less energy to heat and cool than a similar structure without the Passive House Design, according to Ottawa Community Housing. It’s projected that it will cost less than $100 per year to heat and cool. MBC is continuing to commit its efforts in setting the standard of green construction in the Ottawa area. In the last two years, MBC has received two Green Globe awards, one for the MacOdrum Library at Carleton University and the other for the Canadian Forces Housing Accommodation (CFHA) in Petawawa, Ontario.