Gilford Senior Apartments, Topped With Solar, Certified As 'Passive House'

Jan 22, 2019

An aerial view shows solar panels on the roof of the new "passive" senior housing complex in Gilford.
Credit John W. Hession

A new apartment building in Gilford is the first in the state to be certified as a “passive house.”

It uses airtight construction and energy efficient insulation that aims to sharply lower residents’ bills.

The building is the third phase of an affordable senior housing development called Gilford Village Knolls.

It includes 24 one-bedroom apartments, with a small rooftop solar array to cut residents' energy costs through net metering.

The nonprofit Lakes Region Community Developers built the multi-million dollar complex with state funding and tax credits.

Construction of a passive house-style building begins without windows and doors to ensure completely airtight insulation.
Credit Lakes Region Community Developers

Real estate development director Sal Steven-Hubbard says the project's biggest benefit for residents is in the passive house style of insulation.

It completely encloses the building and seals to its high-efficiency windows and doors.

As a result, Steven-Hubbard says, passive houses on average use 86 percent less electricity for heat, and 46 percent less for cooling.

An older part of the complex is the same size and capacity as the new building.

Steven-Hubbard says they'll be able to compare energy use and cost for the two structures over time.