VOLKsHouse is a Passive House in Santa Fe

This is VOLKsHouse, and it’s a prototype for an affordable, net-zero energy family home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In terms of achievements, the home carries an Emerald rating from NAHB and is also the first certified Passive House on the New Mexico market. The project was developed by investor Bob Schneck, Certified Passive House Consultant Jonah Stanford and architect Vahid Mojarrab, all with MoSA Architects, as part of a Passive House Initiative which includes a linked home and office condo called the Balance House.

VOLKsHouse has 2×6 framing, ZIP Panel sheathing, a 10-inch layer of EPS, triple-pane Optiwin doors and windows, low-VOC finishes, an Egauge power monitoring system, ERV, mini-split HVAC system, and LED lighting, etc.

Located at 1351 Ferguson Lane, the ultra-efficient home has 1,717 square feet with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a two-car garage, and a rooftop patio. It was built for $165 per square foot, including the solar photovoltaic system, which ensures that the home generates as much electricity as is used on an annual basis.

More specifically, MoSA said VOLKsHouse was 6.5% less expensive per square foot to build than a regional home of similar size, based on RSMeans cost modeling. Plus, it uses 90% less energy, so with the combined construction and energy savings, the architects believe “there’s no longer any reason to construct anything but Passive Houses.

The Passive House Academy acted as Certifier for this project.

[+] More about the construction of VOLKsHouse in Santa Fe.

Credits: Amadeus Leitner.


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  • MrSteve007

    “It was built for $165 per square foot, including the solar photovoltaic system”

    Thank you! I think this information should be required for every project. It appalls me when we see $250+ sq.ft. projects that don’t even come close to the efficiency of homes like this. It goes to show that efficient & good looking homes don’t have to be expensive.

  • http://twitter.com/VolksHouse1 VOLKsHouse

    Be sure to follow @twitter-720905233:disqus on Twitter for updates! Thanks Jetson Green for the profile!

  • http://twitter.com/VolksHouse1 VOLKsHouse

    Be sure to follow @twitter-720905233:disqus on Twitter for updates! Thanks Jetson Green for the profile!

  • sanitylvr

    We were able to see the house on the tour. It was delightful! The aspect we both noticed most was how the air felt so much better than in our adobe house. It was moist, but not too moist (dry climate). It seemed very fresh. I am struggling to find the right descriptive words. It was an interesting thing to experience.

  • james

    i love this, but at 165 a square foot the average joe where im from in South Carolina could never afford this. i will check in time to time to check this out im very interested in just getting my house off the “grid” so to speak. wonderful job

  • http://twitter.com/OkUncut Oklahoma UnCut

    my home was 39$ a sq foot and could still be retrofit to have solar wind and geothermal why do we ahve to make new homes last i looked there are more empty homes then homeless people in the USA Reuse REcycle or repair/retrofix

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