South Lake Tahoe Passive House

South Lake Tahoe, CA
New single-family home

Targeting Passive House

The future homeowners of what's expected to be the first Passive House in South Lake Tahoe are currently weekend warriors who head up to Tahoe when they can spare time from their busy lives in the Bay Area. They look forward to full-time residence in Tahoe once their new home, an Angora Fire rebuild, is completed in 2014. Sitting near the flanks of Mt. Tallac, their new homestead will be perfectly placed for regular excursions into the mountains.

This home will feature the traditional passive solar measures of extensive southern glazing coupled with high thermal mass and phase change materials. The walls and roof will be built with structural insulated panels (SIPS), and the slab-on-grade will sit on 6" of EPS foam. Triple-pane UPVC Intus windows will be delivered to the high-altitude site with low-conductivity argon gas, a significant energy-saving measure typically not available for mountainous sites when windows are fabricated at lower altitude and need to be shipped with breather or capillary tubes. Intus uses an innovative two-way valve technology that can allow for argon gas even in the mountains--where argon is needed most!