|Photo courtesy of Unity College|
A: TerraHaus is the first certified Passive House student residence in the country, relying primarily on superior insulation and air sealing as well as solar orientation for space heating, and solar thermal hot water. All active heating systems are run on electricity instead of oil. We have small electric baseboard heaters in individual bedrooms and a cold-climate heat pump for heating and cooling the larger common area, but we rely very little on these units to heat the house. In zero-degree weather, the heating load could be met with a standard hair dryer.
|Courtesy Unity College|
A: During the 2012 spring semester, space-heating costs for TerraHaus averaged $21.59 per month, and $86.35 total for January through April. During that time, domestic hot water costs were $96.98 for electric backup water heating and circulation. So that's $183 for space and water heating for four months. Pretty amazing, considering TerraHaus replaces two smaller cottages that costed us $4,364.58 for 1,307 gallons of fuel oil a year.
|Photo courtesy Unity College|
A: In addition to a beautiful design that "feels like home," our students enjoyed being part of a "Passive House" class that used their study of building energy concepts to connect local residents with home weatherization incentives through the Town of Unity Energy Committee. The public is welcome to visit the building for the NESEA Green Buildings Open House tour on Saturday, October 13, 2012.