The Heat is On

We have been having scorching hot weather in this part of the world these past few days. After the very long winter, now comes the heat.   It is the 3rd week now where temperatures had been at 30C++.  Although it is not unusual to get this high temperature, I have been told that having it linger for 3 weeks is quite unusual.

Thankfully, our passive house has kept us comfortable despite the soaring heat. Even without AC, we have managed to avoid overheating by scheduling our activities to conform with nature. For instance, I schedule all my cooking at night time when temperatures are normally low.   At dawn, when the temperature is at 10-17C, we increase the ventilation and open the windows to quickly let the cold air in.  During the day, we normally get 30+ temperatures, so we have all the blinds closed.  Although one of the features I love of this house is an abundance of natural light, no sunlight means minimal heat accumulation, so it will do for now.   The thick insulation is enough to preserve the coldness that was trapped at dawn.  The only drawback is that we, (mainly my husband) has to wake up early just to open the windows and quicky let the cold air in.  But this is very minimal considering the comfort that it brings.

To give you an idea of how it is ventilated, here is a short video about the ventilation system in a passive house.

So there you go, a passive house is not only good in winter but in summer as well.   I am sharing this with you so that if you ever think of building your own home, the passive house is the way to go.  It is good for the environment, good for your pocket and good in any weather!

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The Nursery Project

I’m not yet done with decorating the whole house and here I am already thinking about decorating the nursery.  It’s too early for “nesting,” I know.  But I don’t want to wait till I’m huge as a whale to start doing what I can still do now that I’m relatively strong.

I am thinking of transforming this space…..

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….into this.

                                         Modern Kids by Seattle Interior Designers & Decorators Tewes Design
Minus the chair and the floor, this design makes use of what we already have now.  It seems very easy but the more I focus on the details, the harder it seems.  I am also a bit distracted with these other design ideas that I really find very interesting.
If only I had a bigger room, this is the kind of nursery I would like to have.
                                                      Modern Bedroom by Miami Artists and Artisans Lullaby Wall Decor
I love the color combination and  the simplicity of the room.  I think that the modern design fits very well with our modern house.
This next design is very luxurious, and I like it a lot.  I think it screams:  “I’m a princess!”
I just love the warmth of this room.  But  I’m one who likes to have a lot of light – natural light.  So this will not work.
                                     Traditional Bedroom by New Orleans Interior Designers & Decorators Nelson Wilson Interiors
This other one is very feminine.  The color combination, lace and ruffles says it all.  But with the pink overload,  I think it  will make my boys cringe.  My husband already told me not to overdo pink.  He says he only likes one type of pink — Pink Floyd.
                                       Bedroom by Spanish Fork Architects & Designers Joe Carrick Design – Custom Home Design
This next design may fit our modern house, but the color combination will not.  I’m not really a big fan of brown.  I like the warm cozy feeling that I get from this room though.
                                                 Modern Kids by Calgary Interior Designers & Decorators Wendinteriors
So, what do you think?  Am I making the right choice with the green bedroom for a baby girl?   Which one is your favorite?

Inside Our Passive House – Part One

As promised, here is my first post regarding our experiences living in a passive house. I’m sure most of you are more curious about the technical aspect of the house rather than the interior design, so this post is solely dedicated for that.

Our initial expectation of decreased heater usage was indeed met during our first 2 weeks here.
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A sunny winter day like this is enough to raise the interior temperature to 1C to 2C.  Because of the thick insulation and air tightness, the house has the ability to keep the temperature stable.

Give us 7 sunny days like this and we may not need the heater at all.

But for days when it’s gloomy and Mr. Sun is hidden behind the thick clouds, the house’s integrated heaters are programmed to keep the temperature stable.  Potential “cold spots” within the house are equipped with heaters that look like this.

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This is the biggest one  for the living room, but the smaller ones in the bedroom almost look the same.

The external blinds of the house has a central control unit that can be programmed to open and close at certain times of the day.  In winter, it is useful to open everything during the day to let the sunshine in and heat up the house.  But in summer, there will be a need to keep it closed.  Remote control switches are also available to adjust the amount of opening or amount of light that one would like to have.

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With its air-tight feature, you may be curious about how the house breaths.  Well, this equipment makes it all possible.

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Air vents are strategically located around the house to exchange the air.  There is no need to open the windows.  You are guaranteed to breathe in fresh air.

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We still haven’t done much about the exteriors of the house, so this is pretty much how it looks like from the outside.  Come spring and the landscaping is another major project.

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Anyhow, we are happy with our first few weeks in this house although it is not completely decorated yet.

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Call it crazy, but we are probably one of very few people who are very eager to receive their energy bill.