Project Profile

Project Profile: Full Plane Passive House



Homeowner Lisa Whitridge aimed high on the sustainability scale when planning her new 1,950-square-foot home. The Portland, Oregon, house complies with Passive House standards that focus on an airtight building envelope to achieve a 90 percent reduction in space heating and an overall 60 to 70 percent energy reduction. The house also meets the more rigorous Living Building Challenge by achieving net zero energy, waste and water.

A sailing enthusiast, Whitridge calls her new Passive House “Full Plane,” which means skimming over the water at high-speed under full sail, using natural energies from the wind.

Builder James Ray Arnold, JRA Green Building, Portland, called this a “dream Passive House project” because of its ideal location on a south-facing slope and meticulous, airtight construction that provides a low cooling and heating load.

But the home’s unique structure posed an HVAC dilemma. “The complicated framing in this house makes creating ductwork space within the walls almost impossible. We could not have made this installation without Mitsubishi Electric’s great ductless engineering,” Arnold said.

JRA Green Building worked with Imagine Energy, Portland, to specify and install a Mitsubishi Electric ductless system with an INVERTER-driven compressor and two 9,000-Btu ductless indoor units – one on each floor.

David Landau, project manager at Imagine Energy, says our ductless systems are the company’s go-to system for Passive Houses. “You get very high efficiencies for low loads, and the units are variable-speed and adapt well to the environment. The SEER ratings are as good as or better than the other products with INVERTER technology and the ductless system is nice because we need only a small amount of space to move the energy from the outdoor unit to the wall-mounted heads,” he says.

Click here to read the entire Full Plane Passive House Case Study.