It’s time to welcome a new green building protocol with the arrival of the Active House specification in the United States. The specification gets a big test with this home, called Active House USA, which will be the first Active House in the country when finished. It’s designed by Jeff Day & Associates and will be built by Hibbs Homes and Verdatek Solutions in St. Louis to test the new specification in a mixed climate. Here’s a little more about Active House and this 2,500 square foot home.
First and foremost, Active House is a “target framework for how to design and renovate buildings that contribute positively to human health and well-being by focusing on the indoor and outdoor environment and the use of renewable energy,” according to the specification published by Active House Alliance.
An Active House is designed to the Trias Energetica concept — first reduce energy demand, then source renewable energy, and finally use fossil fuels as efficiently as possible, if necessary.
In addition, the specification has an indoor climate component that relates to lighting, views, thermal environment, indoor air quality, and noise and acoustics, as well as an environment component that relates to energy consumption, water consumption, and cultural and ecological context.
All of these will be put to the test in Active House USA, which will be built with Insulpan SIPs, triple-glazed windows, zero- and low-VOC paints and finishes, an ERV, a high-efficiency furnace, and reclaimed materials.
For extra measure, the project team will also pursue four certifications: Energy Star, EPA Indoor airPlus, Building America Builder’s Challenge, and the National Green Building Standard, according to the Structural Insulated Panel Association. I’ll follow the project and provide updates in the future.
Credits: Jeff Day & Associates (top); Active House Alliance.