Mini-B Passive House tour on Saturday

On Saturday, June 11, the Sunset Hill Community Association and Phinney Neighborhood Association are co-sponsoring a two-hour presentation and tour of “Mini-B,” a passive energy bungalow from 10 a.m. to noon. Participants will receive a guided tour and power-point presentation with the architect and Ballardite, Joe Giampietro.

Photo by Joe Giampietro

From the Sunset Hill Association:

The Mini-B features high vaulted ceilings, a sleeping loft, living room,  dining area, kitchen, and a bathroom with shower. All these amenities are built into a 300 sq.ft.footprint, just the right size for a vacation cabin or backyard cottage.

Although the house will have a solar hot water system, it is so airtight and well-insulated that it can be warmed by the occupants’ body heat, according to Joe Giampietro.  Fresh filter air provides excellent indoor air quality.

Photo by Steve Allwine

In an interview earlier this year, Giampietro said he hopes the passive-house trend will catch on in the U.S. as it has in Europe. “The most important thing is that we’re showing that you can conserve a tremendous amount of energy that is used by buildings, which are the single largest user of energy in the country,” he explained. “If we can control energy loss and use in buildings, we’ll go a long way towards solving energy issues.”

The event will start at the Phinney Neighborhood Association (6532 Phinney Ave. N.) in the Blue Building, Room #3, with an  information session at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The house tour will follow at 11:00 a.m. to noon.  Admission is $4 for Sunset Hill Community Association/Phinney Neighborhood Association members,  and $8 for non-members.

On Sunday, June 12, the house will be part of the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s annual Home and Garden Tour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The house will be on display until August, and will then be moved to a permanent location.

23 thoughts to “Mini-B Passive House tour on Saturday”

  1. Maybe the McGinn and the City Council should buy these for the Nickelsville encampment and the rest of the chronically homeless throughout the City.

  2. Next time they build a demonstration model that needs to be moved after construction, they should totally build a three story 22,000 sf mansion!
    All snark aside, the techniques illustrated in this model can be used in a much larger structure. 

  3. It’s clearly designed for a single person or young couple, but in reality it’s designed to show a concept. A good concept that should be used in more construction but the people who lack imagination, or even common sense, will get hung up on the small scale instead.

  4. But the techniques are integrated into more and more homes and that’s the real point of something like this. Demonstrate that the combination of all the techniques can cut your heating costs to essentially zero, and then builders will take notice and incorporate these methods to greatly reduce energy consumption. 
    In Europe you’ll see a lot more of these techniques and technologies integrated into your average home. Are they zero energy houses? No, but compared to the typical US home, they’re amazingly efficient.

  5. The next house I build will incorporate some of these techniques. Energy will only be getting more expensive, so building a house that needs less of it will save even more money in the future. 
    I don’t think I’ll be able to get as efficient as this model, especially with something a little larger, but implementing as many of the ideas here will pay off in the long term.

  6. especially the aesthetics.  this structure is not very attractive.

    personally, I’d rather open my window than rely on a little fan.

Leave a Reply