I went on another tour of a couple of passive houses under construction in the San Jose area. The two were very different from each other. The first is a remodel, designed by Thamby Kumaran with energy modelling by the owner-builder, Scott Heeschen. It uses a lot of salvaged redwood for the rainscreen siding, a mixture of Marvin Integrity and Serious windows, and rainwater catchment. Clearly architecture was a priority, since attics and flat ceilings make it easier to maximize insulation. (Compared to this beautiful vaulted ceiling)
I am curious how the long strip of south-facing clerestory windows will perform in summer with such a minimal overhang.
Casement, awning, and fixed windows were chosen for their air tight seals.
The other house I had already visited in the fall of 2010.
This one is more of a standard high-end spec house, but it seems to be quite technically competent on many levels.