Project Profile: Farmer Passive House

When architect Trey Farmer purchased a 104-year old craftsman house in Austin, Texas, he decided to push the envelope on the home’s energy efficiency. His goal: gut the home and turn it into a Passive House as part of a pilot project for Passive House Institute US (PHIUS+) Standard 2018.

Passive homes require high-performance HVAC systems and close attention to insulation and air tightness.

“We worked closely with Cleantag in building the house and Positive Energy who designed the mechanical system,” said Farmer. New Results Heating and Cooling installed the mechanical system.

A High-Performance HVAC System

When selecting an HVAC system, Farmer and his project team knew they required something that could work in unison with all the home’s elements. “The building envelope itself will do a lot of the heavy lifting, but the HVAC system needs to be able to respond,” explained Eric Griffin, production manager, Positive Energy. “The HVAC system cannot be installed in isolation from its surroundings.”

Ultimately, the team chose Zoned Comfort Solutions® from Mitsubishi Electric. “We really like the Mitsubishi systems for their ability to zone a house via refrigerant versus doing a forced-air zoning system which would be much more conventional,” said Griffin “This method is significantly more efficient. Positive Energy likes the high-quality engineering that goes into the Mitsubishi components. They are our go-to product for our designs.”

As the homeowner and architect on the project, Farmer concurred with Griffin. “We ended up going with the Mitsubishi VRF because it’s quiet, energy efficient and it gives us the air we want when we want it.”

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