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.”
The first spec home in the Pacific Northwest to meet Passivhaus standards is in the Columbia Station green micro-community built by the award-winning design+build boutique firm, Dwell Development. Passivhaus is an energy standard that is more difficult to achieve than LEED with respect to energy efficiency. Homes that meet the Passivhaus standard must reach thermal comfort levels by postheating or postcooling fresh air without necessitating recirculation.
This is the Passive House Retreat in New England built by Aedi Construction with architecture and Passive House consulting by Boston-based ZeroEnergy Design. I was able to trade emails with ZED, including Stephanie Horowitz AIA CPHC and Jordan Goldman CPHC, about the energy performance of the home over the last year, and they said actual performance exceeded all predictions — including Energy Star and PHPP usage calculations. The home averaged 412 kW per month for all energy consumption.
This is a floating home that is entirely self-sufficient and docked in Maastricht, Netherlands. Designed by Pieter Kromwijk and referred to as Autarkhome, the solar-powered project was built to the Passivhaus standard and is 10 times more energy efficient than the average dwelling of similar size.