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Cleveland home is Ohio's first passive house

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: July 10, 2013

An energy-stingy home in Cleveland has been certified as the first passive house in Ohio.

The house was originally built as an exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. It was certified last month by the nonprofit Passive House Institute US.

A passive house is designed to be heated and cooled naturally as much as possible and to use far less energy than a conventional building. The Cleveland house, called the PNC SmartHome Cleveland when it went on display in 2011, was built with ecologically sensitive materials and contained such features as high-performance windows, generous insulation and a ventilation system that captures heat from air that's being expelled from the building.

After the exhibit closed, the house was moved to Wade Park Avenue in Cleveland's University Circle area and sold to private owners Jocelyn and Martin Schaffer. 

To achieve passive house certification, a home must meet standards for heating and cooling, total energy use for all needs and building air tightness as measured by a blower door test.

"Not only did we meet the certification standard, but we did it in Cleveland's cold and cloudy climate, which is one of the most challenging climate zones in the country for a passive house," project coordinator David Beach said in a news release. Beach is director of the museum's GreenCityBlueLake Institute.

You can read more about the SmartHome on the museum's website.

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