The Everhart Passive House Project

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Passive House Remodel After
Passive House Remodel Before
Passive House - Remodel in Progress
Passive House - Remodel in Progress
Building Larsen trusses in our driveway
Innotech door
Leigh shaking hands with the main carpenter Rick Sharr through an opening in our kitchen wall.
Heating Recovery Ventilator Installed
Installing roof hips
Insulation blown in to the walls at top of house
New LED lights in kitchen
Kitchen studwall installation of XPS
Gwen helping with siding, west side scaffolding
Attic air seal
Attic prepared for GreenFiber Cocoon R90 Cellulose insulation
Serious Materials window collecting solar heat in fat wall
Larsen trusses under the Window with Rough Sill
Frost on the outside of the window
Crawl space insulation arrives from Tacoma
Putting crawl space insulation into place
Passive House Remodel AfterThe house after the remodel in August, 2010
start stop bwd fwd

Portland, Oregon Passive House Futurefit: An Everhart Family Home

Welcome to the Everhart Passive House Remodel Website. We are glad you came by for a visit. Our site, like our home, is not 100% finished, but we hope you will find inspiration and information here about passive house designing and low-carbon heating and cooling of buildings.

What is a Passive House?

A Passive House is a very well-insulated, virtually air-tight building that is primarily heated by passive solar gain and by internal gains from people, electrical equipment, and cooking.

What Makes a Passive House Special?

  • A Passive House is about ten times as air tight as typical new construction.
  • It is heavily insulated to keep warm/cool air in. Our walls are 11 inches thicker than they were, as built to code in 1998.
  • Instead of fresh air coming in through cold leaks, fresh air is constantly brought in by a Heat Recovery Ventilator that captures 80% of the heat of the outgoing stale air.
  • Thanks to capture of the heat energy, a Passive House can stay warm simply from everyday sources such as sun through the windows, body heat, appliance operation heat, cooking, and, for example, 2000 watts of supplemental heat for the coldest days in Portland, Oregon.
  • There are over 10,000 of these homes in Europe, so it is not as space-age as you might think.
  • It is an elegantly simple standard to meet to be a certified passive house—one air-tightness measure with a blower-door test, and one measure of the heating/cooling energy use per square foot of living space. Now, HOW to reach these benchmarks is a big complicated story…welcome to our website.



Here are PDF versions of presentations for you to download and enjoy. Please respect the integrity of the Passive House Project and do not share or repost for profit. Thanks! Questions can be directed to Tad Everhart.

2012 Presentations

2011 Presentations


Website Updates and Current Server Error Issue

Note from the Webmaster

This site is undergoing some updates -- a "futurefit", if you will. Some pages may not appear properly, or at all. If you encounter an error, please use your browser's "Back" button to return to the main page. We hope to have the current issue, which gives an "Internal Server Error" message, resolved very soon.

Thank you for your patience!

Karin Carlson, Webmaster


So, How Much Energy DO You Save?

I know you want to know the facts, so here they are. The red line is the average use (in therms) before the retrofit; the blue and green lines are 2010/11 and 2011/12, respectively.

Click on the image to see the full-sized graph (it is a PDF file, so depending on your browser settings, you may download it by clicking or right-clicking and choosing "Save Target As...").



For more information, please see:

Questions? Comments? Please Contact us.

Questions or comments about the website can be directed to the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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Cartoon: Passive Houses In a Nutshell

movie shot

Support the Project

Did you find something on our website that inspired you, or that you might use in your own projects? Please consider being a part of the Everhart Passive House Project by making a secure donation to support further development of the site. (Read the Note from the Webmaster.)