125 Haus to Showcase Next Gen Housing

125 Haus is a home under construction that could become a model for next-gen housing that’s extremely energy and cost efficient.  Architect and owner Jörg Rügemer* expects this to be Utah’s most energy-efficient and cost-effective house, which is saying a lot given the fact that the Breezeway House obtained Passive House certification on a budget.  When complete, 125 Haus will have three bedrooms, a studio, and 2,400 square feet with an expected construction cost of $118 per square foot.

Prior to construction, Rügemer directed an integrated design process with key players to iterate the design for efficiency and affordability.  Without this process, says Rügemer, the home would not be built the way it is being built and it would not cost anything near $118 per square foot for construction.

The cold-climate home is located at an elevation of 7,000 feet near Park City, Utah.  It’s designed to the German Passivhaus standard and will meet the requirements of either LEED Gold or Platinum certification, according to Rügemer.

125 Haus will be about 90% more energy-efficient than the built-to-code IECC 2006 standard building based on EnergyPlus and Passive House Planning Package energy modeling.  Upon completion in September 2011, the project’s construction, energy savings, cost efficiency, and ROI will be measured with a two-year post-occupancy monitoring period.

The home is being built by Garbett Homes, the same company behind Solaris A and Solaris B.  125 Haus will have double-stud construction, a layer of exterior insulation, Cascadia and Serious windows (disclosure: Serious Windows is one of our sponsors), an HRV, and a small ground source heat exchange loop.  Automated, operable windows will help with cooling in the summer, and a direct-vented, gas-fired fireplace will supplement space heating in the winter.

*Atelier Jörg Rügemer is a professor for sustainable architecture at the School of Architecture, University of Utah, and co-founder and assistant director of I-TAC (Integrated Technology in Architecture Center).

[+] More info on the cost-effective, low-energy 125 Haus.

Credits: Jörg Rügemer.


  • http://www.postgreenhomes.com Chad Ludeman

    This is a great looking project, but I’d argue that if it’s going to be a model for “Next Gen Housing” it needs to be smaller and a bit more affordable. 2,400 SF is closer to today’s average sized home and much larger than the coming generations seem to be comfortable living in, especially if located near urban centers. 

    While the PSF build price sounds good at first glance, if you dig into the numbers, you’re looking at a house that costs about $300K to build before soft costs and builder/developer profit. There is probably no way to feasibly purchase this for under $500K. While not unattainable like many of these next gen homes we see popping up in the press everywhere, it’s certainly a good $100K – $200K higher than the target demographic is looking to spend in most areas of the country…

    • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

      One thing I ought to add is the fact that $118 psf construction is below market rate for this area, I’m told. 

    • Joerg

      Chad,

      I understand your concerns, but have to let you know that the $118 reflect the real construction cost, including the builder’s overhead, fees and profit, as well as all permit fees and engineering fees. What is not included are cost for land, impact fees, and architectural fees, since those would skew comparability. I also like to tell you that the same house in the Salt Lake Valley would cost approximately 20% less – the location is part of Park City, with prices going up instantly if a sub or contractor sees the address. Same applies for land etc. According to our energy modeling, the same building would also be a complete overkill at 4,500′ elevation, passing the Passive House Standard by far (about 3,8 kbtu/…), which would be another saving potential on top. As my next project, I will prove this one by designing and building a similar building for the affordable market in Salt Lake City.

      This will all be well documented since it is also a University of Utah research project, so by the end of next year we will all know if this strategy becomes successful or not. 

      When you talk about the size, I agree in so far that 2,400 sq.ft. seems to be bigger than the average, but the net area is at 2,100 (real, usable space), with a fully equipped architectural studio included. So we are actually talking about an 1,800 sq.ft. 3 bedroom PLUS a 300 sq.ft. professional studio that is not really part of a residential building, but it helps a lot with global efficiency since it eliminated commuting….

  • http://bruteforcecollaborative.com/ mike eliason

    looks good (thankfully, plethora of poorly designed passivhaus projects)…

    shame about the windows, though – with all the winter sun, it’s a shame to not be able to maximize it.

    • Joerg

      Mike, 

      it has been maximized to the location and energy efficiency – the two story facade is actually the south facing, all other elevations need to have smaller windows (especially in the north). Giving the very specific (and difficult) site conditions, this was all we could do – also considering the high cost and weight for triple pane windows at 7,000′. 

  • http://www.remodelamericaonline.com/replacement-windowsdoors/windows/new-jersey-replacement-windows/ Rolly Corvin

    The windows do look like they were strategically placed around the house in such a way that the natural light will be maximized. This house really looks good in my opinion.

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