This is the first certified Passive House in the “South,” and it’s located in Lafayette, Louisiana. What’s interesting about the home – other than that it illustrates the use of the Passive House standard in a hot and humid climate – is the fact that the low-energy home, with the help of rooftop solar laminates, is a net zero energy prototype for the future.


It was designed by Corey Saft, architecture professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and includes a 1-ton mini-split AC system, an UltimateAir RecoupAerator ERV, and a 3.264 kW rooftop-integrated, penetration-fee, solar laminate system from Whirlwind Solar.

Sometimes referred to as the 204House, this ultra-efficient abode has a small 800 square-foot footprint, 1,200 square feet of total space, and three bedrooms and two bathrooms. One can easily see future iterations on a narrow lot or paired with several other homes in a row in some urban context.

In addition to Passive House certification, Professor Saft is seeking the highest level green building certification for the home, which would show the world that Passive House and LEED certification aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

204House is well-insulated and airtight. The wall is built 24" on center with open cell spray foam between the studs. The house is also wrapped with 1" of polyiso insulation to reduce thermal breaks. Though different, this design reminds me of what the folks at PostGreen are proposing as their affordable, energy-efficient wall assembly.

Of course, everyone has been talking about 204House. That includes Richard Defendorf of Green Building Advisor, Nathan Stubbs of The Independent Weekly, and Jacob Gordon of Treehugger.

Indeed, Passive House is popular these days. Several miles away, the Breezeway House in Salt Lake City recently received certification, joining this house and only a handful of other projects in the country that can claim the same.

Credits: Corey Saft (#1); Whirlwind Solar (#2).