Passive House in New Brunswick . . . Someday

OK, I know that GreenEdmonton is about living green here - i.e. in Edmonton - but I have something I wanted to share with you.   My wife and I have started the planning process for a Passive-House designed house in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

To try and make a long story short:  My wife is from New Brunswick and our plan is to eventually retire there.  In early 2011, we purchased a lot in the city of Fredericton with good southern exposure and a stream running along one side.  This summer we met with Tim Naugler of Fredericton’s Southern Exposure Construction ( and got a tour of the Naugler House (  It is a very impressive house - both from the engineering and aesthetics perspectives.  It turns out that Tim had built the house but that the design had come from Garth Hood of Thoughtful Dwellings.  My wife and I have hired Garth to design a house for us and have several conversations about what our priorities are for the new house. 

These pictures show our initial plans for the building placement.  As you can see, the house does not face perfectly south as I decided to sacrifice a small amount of solar gain for a larger, more usable yard.  There is a detached garage which we plan to attach to the house with a breezeway of some sort.  To be honest, I’m not sure how that’s going to work but Garth has done it before and has suggested that we could use it as a greenhouse and/or a “three-season” room.  I expect the breezeway will be outside the conditioned space as I don’t think we could hit the passive house targets if we included it.

One thing the pictures don’t show is that the house will likely be a slab on grade, i.e. with no basement.  This is because the house will be a few metres from the stream and because Fredericton has a much higher water table than Edmonton.  It was in discussions with Garth that I learned there are neighbourhoods in Fredericton where you _must_ build slab on grade (i.e. you are not allowed to put in a basement) because of the high water table and risk of floods.

I’ll post more as things develop.

FYI: Here’s a video of the stream that our future bedroom window will face.

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