Damon Gray has spent 10 years building wood-frame homes. That’s exactly why he stayed away from wood framing when he built his own home. Wait, what?
“I got sick of renovating homes that were falling down,” explains Gray, who lives in Victoria, British Columbia. “In B.C., it’s a wet climate, which is great for mold and rot. So when it came to my house, I kept telling myself, ‘You’ve got to stop building these things that are going to last only 30 years.’”
Instead, Gray went with a concrete structure to create a home built on super-energy-efficient Passive House design principles.He hasn’t lived in the house a full year yet, but so far, with the help of solar panels, he’s expecting his energy bill for the year to be $0.
Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: Damon and Annie Gray and their boys, Kael (age 2½) and Ollie (11 months)
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Size: 3,000 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
Cost: $280 per square foot ($840,000)
After Gray measured the sun’s path, the L-shaped design emerged as the most advantageous. Gray learned that the property got the most sun on that L-shaped pocket at 3 p.m., so he responded accordingly. “If I changed the angle of the house by 15 degrees, it lessened the energy performance by 25 percent,” he says.