Fritsch Plans Workshop Inc


High-Performance Home Design : Increased Comfort

Good home design crafted to your needs, site, and budget. It should integrate energy efficiency, climatic resilience while delivering continuous healthy indoor air quality, even temperature throughout and acoustic isolation from the exterior noise. Your home’s planned purpose is comfort no matter what. It will benefit your well-being, the long-term protection of your investment and minimize harm to the environment.

You’ll be glad you considered it all, let’s make a plan together.

Guiding Design principals

I strive to integrate these principles in all my projects, each is uniquely shaped according to them. The homes I design are carefully sited, oriented, formed, modeled, glazed, and finished according to the individual needs and specific features of the site and environment it will inhabit for future generations. My designs process will utilize the following principals that guide energy-conscious methods, I consider them as my recommended best practices:


Often clients feel that cost is the principal barrier to creating an energy efficient home to the Passive House Standard. To diminish this perceived barrier, I help to establish long term priorities early on. The level of finishes can often double the cost of a home without adding any value to the home as a system that needs to be sustainable and healthy. No matter which finishes are selected, homes will have the same energy performance. Therefore, establishing priorities for the level of finishing and required size in relation to your desired energy performance is important at the outset.


Design adapted to your needs and specific project challenges. We all use our spaces differently so their flow from one to another must be adapted to each client's intended use. In addition, most sites are unique and will have major influence on the buildings form and orientation, some of these influences are site topography and existing natural features that need to be designed around, views vs optimal solar that don't always align. Finally architectural aesthetic preferences differ for each client and often design trends must be adapted to each specific projets form, climate, use patterns, etc. 


Efficient and proven construction methods are always more cost effective. Passive House building techniques and materials are rapidly being adopted as they have proven over time to be simple enough and can extend the life of a building.  Build using locally available materials that tradespeople are familiar with and put them together in new ways to achieve the desired aesthetics and performance. No surprise here, the more complicated the building design, the more expensive to build and less energy efficient as you add envelope surface area.


An airtight super-insulated thermal envelope and carefully designed thermal bridge free details are the base reducing heating & cooling energy demand and achieving interior comfort in hot and cold weather. Living in a draft free home with warm surfaces and excellent indoor air quality is an attainable goal for all homes when the details are planned and built using proven methods. Just like a simple thermos, which keeps contents hot or cold, with an optimized building envelope, mechanical heating systems can then be simplified and reduced in size due to the low heating & cooling loads.


I use the Passive House Building Standard as a design tool to minimize total energy demand of a project. With an optimized thermal envelope, the mechanical heating and cooling systems can be simplified and are therefore less expensive to operate and to maintain or replace. The use of Passive House energy modeling simulations informs the design to determine optimal building orientation, quantities of insulation, wall to window ratios, quantify electrical/mechanical effects on power consumption, etc.


Just like those quality leather shoes, better building components assembled/installed properly will last longer and require less maintenance. Like those nice leather shoes, they will last longer. These initial energy efficiency upgrade costs have long term cost benefits and can be offset by quantifying residual/lifecycle values in addition to the operational savings. Yet the well-being comfort and health values remain priceless.  


Since passive solar gains are free and can offset some of the energy demand required for heating a house, proper solar orientation of each house and the glazing positioning are critical concerns from the schematic design stage. However the energy model will also evaluate the risk of overheating in the summer. Each site is specific and will present different challenges as existing shading features vary; Adjacent building structures, Trees, Mountains to name a few.


In high performance homes, the domestic hot water has a greater energy demand than heating and cooling. For this reason, it requires thoughtful consideration. Heat pump water heaters, combined with minimized runs of insulated plumbing pipes by centralizing fixtures is an efficient strategy.  This reduces heat loss in distribution piping and allows to have less vent stacks which are considerable thermal bridges that have a negative impact on space heating demand.

What we do

Home design inspiration should stem from your lifestyle and location.

Fritsch Plans Workshop Inc. is a humble residential design studio with a desire to focus on energy efficient architecture, notably to the Passive House Standard. I design simple, modern, site-specific homes inspired by British Columbia’s rugged surroundings, humble materials, vernacular building forms, and employ a rustic-modernist esthetic.

Clients Recommend Us

The voice of my clients is some of the best marketing I get.

Passive House Explained in 90 seconds

Passive House is a Building Standard that reduces energy demand with and envelope first strategy. The Passive House Energy Model informs the design to optimize building orientation, fenestration, envelope insulation values and right sized mechanical systems.