To create a real-time project demonstration, lhb Architects designed the Hook & Ladder apartment complex as a side-by-side experiment with two adjacent, nearly identical apartment buildings. One set of the look alike apartment buildings is built to state energy code specifications, the other to the Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) 2015 standard.
Minnesota is hitting new heights when it comes to green energy standards. The state’s first-ever Passive House multifamily development, Hook & Ladder Apartments, opened October 2019 in northeast Minneapolis. It is set to prove just how much of a difference Passive House construction can make in operations cost and occupant comfort compared to buildings designed to conventional energy codes.
To create a real-time project demo, lhb Architects designed the complex as a side-by-side experiment with two adjacent, nearly identical apartment buildings. One set of the look alike apartment buildings is built to state energy code specifications, the other to the Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) 2015 standard. Passive House standards require upgraded ventilation to improve air quality, as well as tight energy-usage restrictions for heating and cooling. To block pathways for hot or cold air traveling out of the building, and to preserve energy, the project team focused on providing continuous insulation (CI) in the building envelope. According to the project’s panelizer, Mike Klefstad from Glenbook Building Supply & Edgebuilder, “The building employs continuous insulation throughout its entire envelope without any thermal bridging. It is also very airtight.”
To create the apartment’s efficient building envelope, the project team selected Hunter Panels’ Xci NB, which helped meet the required R-value. “In addition to batt insulation in the wall cavities, the product gave us the necessary R-value to pass the Passive House standards,” said Dave Einck, senior project manager at Frerichs Construction. Polyiso panels offer increased R-value per-inch of thickness versus mineral fiber, XPS or EPS options. In addition, the composite Xci NB panel allows the insulation and the cladding attachment substrate to be installed together as one piece, which means faster installation, handling less materials and thinner wall profiles.