Unity College Gets Passive Haus Building

The hottest building standard on the block, Passive House, moves to the realm of student housing in a new residence hall at Unity College called TerraHaus. TerraHaus is expected to be the first student residence in the country with Passive House certification and will house 10 students.

TerraHaus was designed by G•O Logic, the same firm that built a red Passive House prototype in Maine. The design calls for nearly airtight construction, SIPS walls (with neopor), heat recovery ventilation, German-windows from EGE Fenstern und Turen, and a glycol solar hot water system with evacuated tubes.

The landscape is designed by Ann Kearsley Design and includes a mixture of pervious and impervious pavements and plantings. Kearsley’s scheme covers not just TerraHaus but two future buildings for a residential village being called SonnenHaus.

Though energy costs should hover below $300 per year, the build cost was about $470,000, according to Bangor Daily News. That pencils out to $235 per square foot based on the 2,000 square feet.

If you recall, Unity College also has a net-zero prefab by Bensonwood Homes. The LEED Platinum project includes solar PV, air-lock entry, a geothermal heat pump system, and recycled materials.

[+] Follow the TerraHaus construction and design blog.

Credit: Unity College; noticed at MNN.


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  • Richardmills422

    Passive house is now mainstream, w/ the addition of 3K solar for an EV you have the first step for zero carbon home and transport system!

    RS Mills
    0+ energy design

  • http://www.HowleyGreenEnergy.com/ John Howley

    Passivhaus is one reason Germany uses about 50% as much energy per capita as the US does.  Colleges and universities are taking the lead in the US, with passivhaus as noted in this post and with other energy efficient designs and geothermal heat pumps.  The good news is that we have the potential to cut our energy consumption in half simply with more efficient designs for our buildings.

    John Howley 
    http://www.john-howley.com

  • Doc

    Little Unity College has been doing an outstanding job of not only talking the talk, but walking the walk. IN fact, while it does not flow as well, the “walking” should probably be changed to “STRIDING!”  Bravo!!

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