The home of the future is here, now!

Fernwood House

For this private build, Local Impact Design provided design (including floorplan, elevations and 3-D renderings/walk-through), Passive House guidance, and mechanical design/specification, including

  • Ventilation system sizing/spec
  • Domestic hot water (DHW) system
  • Heating system
  • Passive House energy modelling (PHPP software)
  • Shading analysis (against overheating)

For the latest news and updates on this project click here

Project profile

Joseph Net Zero Energy Passive House
1005 Fernwood Trail, Minden Hills, Haliburton, Ontario

Canada’s first Passive House home to utilize the Build SMART Modular Passive Wall System invented by Adam Cohen, an internationally recognized leader in the Passivhaus movement (and Passive Buildings Canada member).

The Build SMART panelized wall modules consist of wall panels in 2-foot length increments and with two height options for 8’ and 9’ ceilings; building corners; six window configurations that can be ganged in varied ways; and three door types (see sidebar). This produces 64 custom panel options that can be configured in any number of ways, offering designers a great degree of flexibility. Custom panels can also be produced, making the system fully customizable. To make the process accessible to any designer, the panel drawings are made available as SketchUp or Revit ‘components’ which can be inserted and configured easily with a few mouse clicks.

Minden Build SMART Panels with Zip Wall sheathing (green). Wall panels consist of a traditional stick frame (2×4, 2×6), insulated, sheathed, air-sealed, and covered with rigid EPS foam, with foam thickness varied to suit local climate zones. Panels are joined on site with Prosoco liquid-applied sealant. Super energy-efficient Passive House Certified tilt & turn windows from Klearwall are pre-installed in the factory, so the walls are truly “plug & play”. As one contractor commented, “You’ve turned Passive House Construction into Ikea® Legos®!” Systemizing the design and production process greatly reduces cost.

Foundation is a frost-protected insulated monolithic slab-on-grade. An insulated form is constructed with insulated panels that are repurposed cut-outs from exterior doors sold in Ontario by Insta-Panel.

Building Integrated Solar Panels (BIPV) by GSE Integration will provide all energy to the house on an annual basis


  • Roof – U-Value = 0.055 W/(m²K) = R-103
  • Wall – U-Value = 0.095 W/(m²K) = R60
  • Slab-On-Grade U-Value = 0.251 W/(m²K) = R-22
  • Window Ug value of 0.70 W/(m²K)

Energy use,

This 2600 sf home is predicted to be 70% less than a 2017 Code-built home. The home is designed to ultra-low Passive House (PHIUS) heating thresholds as follows:

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