Passive House Energy


A starting place

We should first make a distinction between brick, clay, and stone ovens; the type is determined by the material used for making the dome. The material varies not according to the period, but rather to the wealth of the people and to the availability of suitable raw materials in the surrounding area. In our fieldwork we learned that people usually preferred to use some inexpensive material that was within easy reach.* To build an oven at very little cost, what better material could be found than clay or stone? Village brickyards often provided an inexpensive product, such as bricks from less successful firings. If people had more money, they bought better- quality bricks and often went so far as to import them.


High-Performance Enclosure

Continuous insulation throughout the entire building enclosure.

In progress

Thermal Bridge Elimination

Thoughtful, thermal-bridge-free enclosure design.



Minimizing infiltration of outside air and loss of conditioned air.

In progress

Levelled earth or the flat side of a rock is most often used as a natural foundation for the base, which may be made of wood, stone, or cement. Among the types of wood commonly used, cedar is preferred because it resists rot and is long-lasting.4Next in popularity are pine, ash, balsam fir, cypress, tamarack, or black spruce. Four cedar logs used a s legs are stood on end on the ground or on large flat stones and are held in place by small joists on the top. A deck made of spruce or ash logs is laid on these joists. Sometimes thick boards are braced to form a cage instead of erecting vertical posts. The platform can also take the form of a footing made of fieldstones held together by clay or mortar. This masonry is laid about one foot (30 cm) down in the ground.5 As a buffer, sand is inserted between the stones, which are used because they are so readily available and are more fire-resistant than other materials.

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