When it came time to make a home together, Jason and Stephanie Specht wanted to build a sustainable house in Thaxton, VA which is classified as a Climate Zone 4A. Upon consultation with the representatives of Structures Design/Build company they opted for a Passivhaus design. The custom optimized Passivhaus design created by Structures Design/Build allowed the Spechts to achieve cost parity with traditional construction.
Incorporated in 1839, Chattanooga, Tennessee was a boom town by the time the railroad arrived in 1850. “Where the cotton meets the corn,” Chattanooga had a strategic cultural location between the north and the south, which put it in proximity of some of the worst of the Civil War battles. By 1969, the industrialized city of Chattanooga had been declared by the federal government to have the nation’s dirtiest air.
Shovel all the coal in
Gotta keep it rollin’
Woo, woo, Chattanooga there you are
-from Chattanooga Choo Choo (words by Mack Gorden, music by Harry Warren)
Recent efforts by the private and government sectors to revitalize areas of downtown and the riverfront have won the city several national and regional awards for livability, excellence in housing, and consolidated planning.
With details of glass, timber, and stone that is responsive to the surrounding hillside, this guesthouse is one element in a vacation retreat that is located on a former cattle ranch in the Santa Lucia Preserve near Carmel, California. Additional structures on the retreat include the main residence and a workshop.
Attendees of the 2013 Explore Design Home Tour, sponsored by American Institute of Architects (AIA) Seattle, will get up close and personal with Park Passive, one of seven homes on the Tour and the first home in Seattle to be designated as a Passive House in accordance with the requirements set by Passive House Academy as authorized by the Passivhaus Institut. Passivhaus sets international standards for a certification program by which ultra-low energy buildings are evaluated.
Kaplan Thompson Architects were challenged by their clients to build a farmstead home in the mountains of Virginia that could not only meet standards for Passivhaus and LEED, but include a roof on which sheep could graze.
The solution: Earthship Farmstead is a house that is nestled in the east-facing hillside with a floorplan that fits the contours of the surrounding fields. The dining and living room extend out onto the hill to allow south-facing shaded windows to capture warmth and light from the sun. Recently, Earthship Farmstead received Passive House certification and is gathering data toward LEED Platinum certification.
The founder of Oregon-based STUDIO-E Architecture, Jan Fillinger, is a Certified Passive House Consultant and LEED AP who has over twenty years experience in sustainable design, including the use of sustainable and non-toxic materials, integration of energy-efficient building systems, and the design of site- and climate-responsive buildings. Switzerland born and raised, with a Master of Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley, Fillinger has designed projects that have won multiple awards and incorporate environmental and social responsibility, with a primary goal of creating “harmonious and comfortable spaces in which people truly enjoy living and working.”