Farmhouse Addition Meets Passive House Standards

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Feb 5, 2016 11:02:21 AM

This home, built onto an old farmhouse, meets the rigorous standards of Germany’s Passivhaus program.

LOCATED 30 MILES north of Prague, Czech Republic, this project is an energy-efficient 1,200-square-foot residence. The client requested a place to retreat: a private yet open space, full of light. The house was to be strikingly modern yet contextual. Built upon an abandoned single-story structure for housing pigs and chickens, it is an extension of an 18th-century farmhouse. In a dense rural context, the home re-interprets the traditional stone and timber house and translates it into modern form. Local artisans contracted to build the timber construction employed traditional techniques.

PROJECT STATS

NAME: House for a Writer in Bohemia, 30 miles north of Prague, Czech Republic DEVELOPER: Channa Newman
BUILDER: Karel Zikmund, Zikmund Hriste
ARCHITECT/DESIGNER: Elan Neuman Fessler, Emergenative Architecture
INTERIOR DESIGNER: Elan Neuman Fessler, Emergenative Architecture
PHOTOS: Emergenative Architecture

The house has an airtight envelope with low heat loss (less than .15W/m2K), electrical on-demand hot water and triple glazing. The new construction achieves the challenging performance requirements of a German passive house, and it exceeds LEED Platinum standards. The existing sandstone and brick masonry was mostly preserved or reused. New materials were selected for their low carbon footprints and longevity; these include locally harvested timber, bamboo flooring and white aluminum roofing. High-efficiency building systems recycle and retain heat energy.

The House is oriented south and west for natural daylighting and cross-ventilation. In winter, solar energy warms the northern wall, which acts as a passive thermal mass. Radiant heating transfers heat passively to the other masonry walls, and the thermal equilibrium between floors is maintained with an HRV unit. New wall assemblies are “open” to both sides, have low permeability, are without thermal bridges and are insulated with hydrophobic insulation. Natural and forced air circulation on both sides prevent the settling of moisture within the assembly. This thoroughly modern home features efficient appliances from Bosch, Siemens and Miele, plumbing fixtures from Franke and Kludi and LED lighting from Philips.

Combining the old and the new was a cost-effective strategy for creating a cozy, healthy home. At $115 per square foot, it attains high standards at a low cost.

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Sustainable Strategies Abound in this Case Study House

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Feb 3, 2016 5:32:39 PM

A house in Bellingham, Washington, demonstrates innovative water and energy systems that meet the standards of the Living Building Challenge.

THE BIRCH CASE STUDY HOUSE was developed using the Living Building Challenge as a guide. The primary goal of this project was to implement numerous sustainable strategies, highlighting the successes and failures when designing, permitting and constructing Living Buildings.

To help realize the project, [bundle] design studio partnered with non-profits and building product manufacturers. Throughout construction, [bundle] hosted a workshop series with Sustainable Connections to present green materials and strategies to the local building community. [bundle] also partnered with Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) for the NextStep Homes program and with WSU to field test a CO2 heat pump that is used for domestic hot water and radiant floor heating.

PROJECT STATS

NAME: Birch Case Study House, Bellingham, WA
BUILDER: Chris Tretwold, Tretwold Construction, LLC
ARCHITECT/DESIGNER: Dan Welch, [bundle] design studio
PHOTOS: [bundle] design studio

The Birch Case Study house has proved successful at demonstrating a number of pathways towards Living Buildings. Among the highlights, it is the first within the Bellingham city limits to choose not to hook up city water and sewer. Instead, the project achieves net-zero water usage through the use of onsite rainwater catchment, composting toilets and graywater reuse.

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Designed for Flexibility

Posted by Green Builder Staff

May 26, 2015 2:52:56 PM

For this Portland, Oregon makeover, creating the perfect kitchen meant energy-efficient, customized design—with minimal waste.

PHOTOS BY AARON ZILTENER / NEIL KELLY COMPANY

THE KEY TO FITTING the perfect kitchen into this small 1940s home was flexibility, says Therese DuBravac, design consultant at Neil Kelly Design.

The original kitchen was a very tight space, but the 40-something chef-and-teacher couple has no children and plans to live in the house for the long term.

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Passive Townhomes Cluster on Infill Site

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

Apr 2, 2015 10:51:00 AM

View Haus 5 achieves Passive House standards with air-tight, super-insulated building envelopes and high-performance south-facing windows.

Sunny Side: Kitchen with its south-facing windows.

“IT'S ABOUT BUILDING HOMES that I would live in with my own family,” says Sloan Ritchie of Cascade Built. He does live in his first passive home, the award-winning Park Passive.

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Vermont Passive House Shows Off Modern Details

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

Mar 14, 2015 1:24:00 PM

Energy-efficient design meeting Passive House standards is not an oxymoron when it comes to winning awards for housing design excellence.

AUTUMN HILL LANE HOUSE, as this project is called, just earned another accolade--as the cover house in Design New England magazine. In 2013 the house received the Energy Star Energy Efficiency Award and the People’s Choice Award for Best Overall Project from the Home Builders and Remodeler’s Association of Northern Vermont.  The house designed by brown + davis design, Jericho, Vt., received a 2014 Citation Award for Excellence in Architecture from AIA Vermont.

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