Put on your hard hat, see a tighter house


Hey folks. Remember that ABODE story we published earlier this month, in which we visited a soon-to-be-certified Passive House on Lankford Avenue? That story had it all, if I do say so: smart engineering, great design, innovative builders, and jaw-dropping energy savings. And it had good news–not only is our town about to be home to Virginia’s first official Passive House, there’s already a second one in the works!

Latitude 38 is building it on Sixth Street, and when it’s done it’ll look something like this:

Right now, though, it’s still only partly finished, which is actually a great time to visit if you want to get a look at the construction details that’ll allow this thing to realize a 70 to 80 percent reduction in energy use compared with a standard dwelling. Lucky for you, Latitude is holding a hard-hat tour on the next two Saturdays, October 1 and 8, 11am-2pm.

Part of the secret is that the walls of this house are built from double 2×6 studs, with a space between to accept extra insulation. Company owners Jeff Erkelens and Joey Conover can talk with you about what it takes to design and build a house like this, and the various choices and compromises they’ve made in search of a greener dwelling. If there’s any chance you’ll ever build a new house, you owe it to yourself to get wise about this stuff.

Go see for yourself!