This home is officially the first Passive House in North Carolina. It’s also the first Passive House in the country built out of concrete, according to Chris Senior, certified Passive House consultant and owner of Anchorage Building Corp., the builder. Senior said his company was able to keep construction costs “surprisingly reasonable” by fashioning the entire exterior from concrete.
The ultra-efficient house was designed by architect Jay Fulkerson with a nod to Solar Hemicycle by Frank Lloyd Wright. It was built at 760 Kenmore Drive in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and has an R20 slab, R42 walls, and R62 rafters.
Kenmore House has high-performance windows by Serious Windows (725 Series), the same company used in the Breezeway House, Sungazing House, and Hudson Passive Project. The windows are Krypton-filled and have a low solar heat gain coefficient.
One thing to notice in the pictures is the trim. All of the trim was milled from yellow poplar trees from the site. They were locally dried, locally milled, and coated with Rainforest Sealer and Bio Poly (both by EarthPaint).
Senior told Jetson Green in an email that the owners are “thrilled” with their new home. They can’t hear anything outside (unless they open a door or window) and are pleased with the interior air quality. The system replaces all of the indoor air every other hour while retaining about 96% of the interior temperature.
Specifically, Kenmore House has an UltimateAir energy recovery ventilator and one Fujitsu variable 0.25-1.0 ton 25-SEER mini-split on each floor to condition the air. To save energy, the owners purchased a GE induction stove top and a ventless Bosch condenser clothes dryer.
I wasn’t able to get specific construction cost information except that Senior said Anchorage Building Corp. builds these custom properties in the range of $160-$230 per square foot. In fact, business appears to be booming because Senior has four more Passive House projects under construction and more in the design phase.
Credits: Anchorage Building Corp.