First Maine Net Positive house will also earn Passive House rating

 First Maine Net Positive house will also earn Passive House rating

The Viridescent House, the first net-positive building in Maine, will actually produce twice as much energy as it uses.

The Viridescent House, being built by will be a certified Passive House (or Passivhaus), a rigorous, voluntary, international standard for energy efficiency in a building. Currently, there are only a handful of net-zero buildings in the state, and this house will actually produce twice the amount of energy needed to sustain itself and therefore is a net-positive house. 

"Maine is one of the least energy efficient states," said Steve Woods, CEO of TideSmart Global, an experiential marketing and media firm that is part of a $10-$15 million investment TideSmart Global is making in its sustainable campus.

"I believe now is the time for community leaders to make the transition from talking about sustainability to building sustainably. Maine is in desperate need for good policy and economic practice, "Woods said. "My hope is that the Viridescent House will become one of the top symbols of sustainability in Maine and that we'll move closer towards the Passive House certification being a state building standard."

TideSmart Global has partnered with the Portland-based architecture firm, BRIBURN, to ensure that all the standards and regulations for Passive House certification will be met. Each building material and design decision was carefully researched and selected to optimize energy efficiency.

"We are excited to be working with TideSmart Global," said Chris Briley, Founding Partner & Principal Architect at BRIBURN. "Their level of commitment to energy efficiency has allowed us to bring our expertise and knowledge in sustainable building to the state of Maine in a new way. The fact that this house will be able to be heated by a hair dryer in the dead of winter is thrilling."

During the ceremony, Woods held his 10-month old grandson, Jax and spoke about how becoming a grandfather makes you want to plan for your grandchildren's future. Theconstruction of the Viridescent House is a goal he set for himself knowing that in 70 years he will be gone, but Jax will be here and the Viridescent House will still be producing energy—at a time when fossil fuels are projected to be depleted.

The plot of land being used to build the Viridescent House previously belonged to a house from 1880 and was affectionately known as Yellow House. After last year's harsh winter, most of the basement and plumbing systems were ruined and the decision was made to rebuild. All the salvageable materials from the demolition of the Yellow House were donated to The Maine Building Materials Exchange in Lisbon, Maine to benefit low-income homeowners.

TideSmart Global anticipates the new net-positive house to be used as a showcase home for its employees, clients and other community leaders. Its sister agency, Viridescence specializes in green event marketing, which is an area the company is looking to expand over the next five years.

Read more about building green


Topics: Building Green, Certification / LEED, Energy Audits, Home Design & Plans, Passive House, Photovoltaic / Solar Panels, Solar Power


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