Passive House

Passive House is the most rigorous sustainable building standard in the world that employs a set of proven design principles resulting in super energy efficient buildings.

Where High Performance and Comfort Meet

It is more important than ever to build with health, wellness, energy efficiency, and climate resilience in mind. We employ engineering and building practices to achieve superior thermal, atmospheric, and acoustic control. Bensonwood plans are designed for renewable and passive energy strategies.

Passive House Principles
  • High quality insulation
  • Thermal bridge-free design
  • Airtight construction
  • Heat control and robust windows
  • Heat recovery ventilation
Passive House - Bensonwood Homes in the Catskill Project - timber frame, timber house, design homes, open home, prefab homes
The Building Enclosure

An airtight building enclosure system is fundamental to a Passive House this includes the super-insulated panelized exterior walls and roof. We build the enclosures in our controlled offsite facility, so we are able to hold to extremely tight building tolerances. The panelized components are engineered and fabricated to achieve superior airtightness. Passive House requires an air filtration level of 0.6 ACH at 50 Pascals of pressure. Combined with fossil fuel free and efficient heat and air recovery ventilation systems, you will minimize or virtually eliminate air leakage, moisture damage, mold, allergens, pests, and even smoke from entering the building.  

PHlex Passive House Approach

All our standard panel designs can be adapted using greater framing depths and continuous insulation. Our wall, roof, and floor assemblies can be scaled for different insulation values to achieve Passive House certification or performance. 

 PHlex provides a cost-effective, precise, high-quality assembly of building panels (walls, floors, and roofs) to achieve Passive House performance. The PHlex panels are designed to meet or exceed Passive House standards, resulting in superior energy efficiency and an ultra-low carbon footprint.  

Air and Moisture Management

Our walls manage moisture by utilizing the smart vapor permeance benefits of Oriented Strand Board and the hygroscopic properties of cellulose. A semi-vapor open assembly allows for drying in both directions, making it ideal for all climates, and balanced, continuous mechanical ventilation manages interior humidity reducing the amount of moisture that enters the assembly. 

High-performance tapes and specialized gaskets are used to seal the panel joints ensuring that no water or air enters our panels. These systems provide immediate protection and long-term airtight performance. 

All materials in our homes are evaluated carefully relative to their impact on indoor air quality to avoid unhealthy substances and off-gassing. 

Windows and Doors

We specify and source super-efficient triple-paned, tightly sealed, and insulated windows to satisfy stringent Passive House thermal and airtightness requirements. Our designs consider the amount of glazing and its orientation in the building to optimize thermal performance and comfort. 

In addition, we design and build wooden exterior doors that are 3 ¼” thick featuring a rigid insulation core and a double-rabbeted (stepped) jamb with two layers of weatherstripping. We install a 3-point locking mechanism that draws the door tight to the weatherstripping providing an airtight seal.  

See our Architectural Millwork page for more information about our doors. Architectural Millwork – Bensonwood Custom Homes 

How We Build
  • Design and engineer buildings that matter – with support throughout the process
  • Virtual Build with computer aided design – all models begin with 3D models and undergo a verification process for accuracy
  • Fabrication - our Building Systems team makes precision milled and super-insulated components that are assembled in a controlled factory environment
  • Factory Installation – we install hardware, exterior doors, and windows in the wall systems eliminating costly mistakes and saving time at the construction site
  • Transport – our logistics and building teams expertly bundle and wrap the building elements so they arrive safely at the construction site
  • Site Assembly – building components are efficiently assembled by a qualified team at the construction site with minimal waste of materials
Passive House Certification

PHIUS (Passive House Institute US) and PHI (Passive House Institute Germany) are Passive House accredited certification bodies. They educate and guide the design and construction of passive building structures. Our Certified Phius Builder professionals are committed to helping you achieve your energy and wellness goals.  

If you are seeking Passive House certification, we can work with your partners – architects, general contractors and developers to help meet your objectives. 




Let's Discuss Your Building Objectives

We look forward to working with you and learning about the performance goals for your building project.

General Inquiry
Two Bensonwood employees in the workshop