Emu’s Pilot Program Update

A quick check in with our builder partners:

Beartooth Passive House in Red Lodge, Montana

Outside view of Beartooth Passive House
Beartooth Passive House rendering

As our first Pilot Project, we cannot speak highly enough of how wonderful the process of working with Beartooth has been. The house is now getting internal partitions and finishes, and the bulk of the Passive House envelope work has been completed. We had to troubleshoot some sensors that we placed in the wall system, but preliminary data is showing that the built system is performing even better than our virtual simulations. The Red Lodge Passive House is on schedule to be completed and certified by the end of the year. If you’d like to visit it, the site will be open for International Passive House Days. Find more information here.

The Teton Passivhaus by Everett Builders in Jackson, WY

Teton Passivhaus in construction


Teton Passivhaus rendering

This project was almost halfway through framing in mid-September. Details are being finalized, including the window order (which is one of the more challenging aspects of building Passive House in Climate Zone 7), but in general, they are moving faster than expected in order to get through the summer before the Teton winter hits. This project, more than any other, highlights the need for close collaboration with high-performance window suppliers in trying to achieve Passive House certification.

Millhaus by Architect Greg D Fisher in Ft Collins, CO

Millhaus in construction
Millhaus rendering

This project is already starting to frame the upper level and roof. As of September, it was on schedule for the windows to be delivered in November. This project is an example of one that benefits greatly from the precision and experience of the owner/architect/builder as having had framing experience. The on-site presence and supervision during framing can affect 80% or more of the air sealing details in a Passive House. Sequencing has been instrumental in this framing stage. If you like to visit this project and attend a presentation by Emu and the architect/owner, Greg D Fisher, please RSVP to the City of Ft Collins Green Building Lecture Series. More information here.

Case Sangre de Cristo in Cotopaxi, CO

Case Sangre de Cristo rendering


As a newer addition to the Pilot Program, this project is still in the design phase. The image to left is the Design PH model as a part of the Preliminary Review stage.

Part of our service for the preliminary feasibility review of a project is something we call the “decision matrix” (example pictured below). The project team for Case Sangre de Cristo is currently reviewing the options we’ve provided, all compliant with the Emu Construction System for Passive House certification. We evaluated six window products, four of which hit “the sweet spot” — shown here in the green dashed lines. The ones that are browner in color do not meet the requirements, and the ones that are bluer in color could potentially be overkill for this climate zone.

preliminary feasibility decision matrix

In addition to window decisions, we made four membrane packages available, with introductions to local reps. We’ve already narrowed it down to two insulation types, with the specifications ready to go for receiving quotes. All in all, the standardization of the process and has saved hours of research into products, their individual suitability, and their performance in combination with each other.

EnerPHit House by Karon Custom Built in Livingston, MT

EnerPHit House rendering

As the most recent addition to our Pilot Program, we have very few images to show yet. But the most exciting thing about this project is that it will be the first retrofit of an existing home to employ the Emu construction system in achieving an EnerPHit certification (the section of the Passive House standard specifically for existing buildings). Stay tuned for more on this project and the rest in the coming months.

Are you interested in applying for the Pilot Program?

We are looking for projects across all climate zones of North America. Submit your info below to find out more.

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