First passive house in Illinois completed

The Chicago Tribune profiled a River Forest home that is the first in Illinois to be certified as a passive house:

To earn certification, the house had to pass a third-party audit that included a blower-door test to detect air leaks, a visual inspection to make sure specified products were used, and an air-flow test of the ventilation system to ensure that incoming and outgoing air was balanced.

Including the finished basement, the house has 3,800 square feet plus a detached, two-car garage. That includes three upstairs bedrooms, an open living area plus in-law suite for Corinna’s parents on the main level and a recreational room on the lower level.

The first thing a visitor notices about the Lemas’ house is its 18-inch-thick exterior walls. They contain the key to keeping the house airtight — Logix insulated concrete forms, which are Lego-like panels of concrete and foam. Outside of that is a 2-inch rigid foam layer, an air cavity and SmartSide engineered wood siding…

The Lemas figure they spent about $175 per square foot on the house, including site work and demolition of the house that used to occupy the property. That is on par with custom residences that are not passive houses, said Bassett-Dilley.

Interesting article though I wish more time was spent on the process of building the home, such as passing inspections and hearing from neighbors, rather than the particular pieces that went into the home.

While this is the first passive home in Illinois, I wonder what the resale market for such homes might look like in the near future. Is there a premium homesellers can ask for since such homes are rare?

Also, I have read a number of articles about such homes but haven’t really seen anyone discuss possible downsides. What happens if the air exchanger, needed to bring in air since the house is so sealed, goes out? Are there longer-term issues that come up amongst homeowners in such houses?

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