Project Highlight: Kirsch-Stroupe Residence near Winter Park
What do you get when you cross motivated homeowners, with sustainable builders, and an interest in Passive House design? This special combination is the bones for a truly special residential project up in Tabernash, CO near Winter Park for the Kirsch-Stroupe Residence. This project is a collaboration between Matt Kirsch and Kerri Stroupe, Bishop Built, and other Passive House Partners. The results so far are amazing!
As we write this article, the house is still in process. (We can’t wait to see the final product!) However, because it’s in process, we can see so much of the careful work being done to make this house as sustainable as possible with Passive House best practices. It’s been pretty fun to see the work that goes in, in order to make the final product work and run efficiently.
Ultimately, the desire to pursue sustainable and efficient Passive House strategies has to be a core value for the homeowners, especially in a difficult climate like Tabernash (one of the colder areas of Colorado). Matt and Kerri had a deep desire to live in an energy-efficient home and have an ongoing passion for a more sustainable lifestyle.
Zane Bishop, of Bishop Built, has been an integral part of this project and stepped up to the plate! As the contractor, he has the obvious role in making the building a reality. Bishop Built has been building homes since 1982 and has a reputation for premium craftsmanship, clear communication, and full accountability. However, Zane also took Emu’s Passive House Training Class, which meant that not only was this a great construction plan for the home (also a part of Emu’s Pilot Program), but it is a sustainable one as well. This is huge for the Granby/Winter Park area as the Bishop Built team raised the bar in what local contractors can, and do, offer!
Our team at AE Building Systems had a small role in this project, as a supplier for SIGA products. As a belt and suspenders approach, the project leveraged both the Majrex interior system and Majvest exterior system to help achieve Passive House airtightness levels. We also were available to support the Bishop team and answer any questions that arose around the products. While our part feels small, our emotional investment in the success of this project has been huge. And, we’re so thrilled for the Kirsch-Stroupe’s to enjoy their Passive House soon!
Another great partner on this project is Front Range Fenestration. They installed the windows and are great for window installations in the Rocky Mountain region. We’ve worked with them for many years and loved being on the team together for this Kirsch-Stroupe Residence!
While there are countless areas where this project has leaned into efficient practices, a huge focus has been on air sealing and insulation. This is a common thread on any Passive House project. As you can see in the photos, this part of the construction was not just a quick blip, but an intentional focus. For example, double-stud walls allow for increased insulation and reduced thermal bridging. In addition, SIGA products were utilized heavily to provide airtightness and reduce air infiltration.
Any construction project needs forethought to ensure that the project flows properly. We’ve seen supply chain issues in the past couple of years that continue and have been a significant concern into 2021. When you’re considering a Passive House project, you need to make sure you’re managing timelines and milestones even more. Sequencing was a major consideration and every aspect had to be considered months ahead of time. Communication with subcontractors on the schedule was a huge puzzle to solve and manage, but so far has been a success.
Find this project intriguing? You might be dreaming about a passive, sustainable home in the future and we want you to know that, yes, it’s possible! Beautiful homes that fit these efficient building standards ARE possible and possible here in Colorado. If you’re dreaming about that future home, talk to our team! We can help educate you, as a consumer, on what materials (like SIGA which was on this project) are helpful to consider.
If you’re a builder and want to offer more sustainable and efficient Passive House building options for your clients, make sure you talk to our team as well. We nerd out daily on the latest and greatest approaches available. We love to pass on that knowledge. Not only that, but also check out EMU’s Passive House Trainings and consider leveling up your own knowledge on these innovative building strategies.
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More construction and detail shots: