May 14th - Open House and Tour 10am-3pm

Our new blue doors will be open for all this coming Saturday!

Our new blue doors will be open for all this coming Saturday!

We are planning to have an open door tour day this coming Saturday, May 14th. Our doors will be open from 10am until 3pm, and I'll be giving a walkthrough tour at 12pm.

Please come by and check out our Passive House build! This will be the last chance to tour the house before drywall starts. It's a great opportunity to see into the walls and mechanical systems. There's no need to sign up in advance, please just come by at your convenience.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in a week!

What: Wander House open doors tour day (Passive House infill project)

Who: Mark and Meghan Rosen will be on site all day to answer your questions and show you around. Mark is the Architect, Passive House Designer, Owner (with Meghan), and Builder on this project. Check out and for more information on Mark's architecture and consulting firms.

When: Saturday, May 14th 2016, 10am-3pm (tour at 12pm)

Where: 105 Bayswater Avenue, Ottawa, ON

Windows waiting for a home


So there may not be a hole in the ground yet (or even a building permit in hand), but our beautiful Gaulhofer windows have landed on Canadian soil. They are being held for us until the building shell is ready to receive them. The window in front in the photo is the lift-and-slide unit that will let out onto our rooftop patio, and bring in all of that gorgeous sunlight at the top of the house!

The windows are u-PVC with aluminum exterior cladding. We went with Gaulhofer for two reasons: one, the windows are beautiful, robust, extremely well built, and very high performance, and two, because of the exceptional service and attention we have received from Adrian at Herrmann's Timber-Frame Homes. I would highly recommend them to anyone without reservation. Although these are not the most affordable windows, I believe that windows are one element in particular that should not be nickel-and-dimed when building a home. Windows are the weak point in nearly any wall assembly, and are also unique in being one of the only elements of the building envelope that we will touch and interact with regularly as occupants. The feeling of quality to hand when opening and closing the windows will be a signature example of the level of quality I believe all elements of a home should aspire to. Couple this with thermal performance suitable for Passive House applications and you have a wonderful thing. The choice to put Gaulhofer windows in to our home was one of the easier choices we've had to make so far.

A quick progress update: we are expecting the structural engineer's review Monday or Tuesday, which means our permit process can get rolling again...

Gaulhofer windows

gaulhofer passivhaus windows

Windows are especially important in order for us to obtain Passivhaus certification in this climate. They've got to be the bees knees. And they are. We decided to go with Gaulhofer simply because they have been tried and tested. Mark has heard nothing but positive reviews on the windows themselves as well as the service and install. These babies are Austrian-made marvels that will be be a joy to use and last a life time. They are rock solid. 

We have been working with Adrian from Hermann Timber Frame Homes. He emigrated from Austria, started a family business of building homes, and became frustrated by the lack of quality windows and hardware options available in Canada. So they started importing European building products. He's one of a handful of reps now in North America bringing these windows over.

The windows represent a rather large chunk of our budget. Doors and windows will be coming in at around $50k, without install. Yikes. Sure hope our building permit comes through, along with the preliminary modelling because those windows are now set in stone. We jumped ahead and ordered them because Gaulhofer was offering a bit of a promotion — their UPVC window line, with upgraded aluminum cladding at no additional charge. It's good that we jumped ahead too so that we're not waiting for them to arrive from across the Atlantic, which can take a good 2-3 months...

We're invested now. No turning back.