Warm House for a Cold, Cold Winter

Mike Trolle’s Passive House was built on the remnants of a summer cottage in a Connecticut Lake community. The only parts that were salvaged for the new home were the original CMU foundation, first-floor joists, and subflooring.

The original subfloor with its new, taped layer of plywood can be seen in the center of the photo. On the right, a 6-inch layer of stone dust—for thermal mass—covers 12 inches of foam.

Drains that are under the crushed-stone base for the patio at the back of the house remove water that seeps down the sloped lot. Gutter leaders from the long south-facing roof will also tie into the same system.

Plywood sheathing joints were taped before horizontal 2x3s and 1/2-inch plywood strips were added. HRV exhaust is seen between dormer windows.

2x3s and1/2-inch plywood strips were lagged to the studs through the taped plywood sheathing. Two-inch-thick polyisocyanurate-foam sheets were installed between the 2x3 plywood nailers.

A second layer of foam was added over the first and held in place by lag bolts through the vertical 1x3s, which also create a rain screen for the Hardiplank siding.

Triple-pane Klearwall windows, which are made in Ireland, are used throughout the house.

Hardiplank siding and Boral TruExterior trim cover the exterior of the Passive House.

The Mitsubishi minisplit heat-pump system worked flawlessly throughout the brutal winter.

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