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Autarkhome: Sustainable Floating Passivhaus

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.

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Modern Park Passivhaus in Somerville

This is Park Passivhaus in Somerville, Massachusetts.  The home was designed to the German Passivhaus standard and is currently being built on an urban infill lot.  With modern detailing, a slender structure, and a shapely New England form by Placetailor, also the builder, Park Passivhaus will incorporate a Zehnder HRV, two Mitsubishi Mr. Slim mini-splits, and a high performance envelope with an 18″ double-wall cavity, blown-in cellulose, Makrowin windows and doors, Fakro skylights, ZIP sheathing roof, Siga tapes, Siga-Majvest membrane, Cedar and Alucubond cladding, etc.  This is an excellent project to track, especially if you’re interested in Passive House detail.

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Passivhaus Door Handmade in the USA

Hammer and Hand, a high-performance builder with offices in Seattle and Portland, recently announced the production of ultra-efficient custom doors for use with Passive House projects.  The doors are designed and built in southeast Portland to the rigorous requirements of Passive House and help project teams avoid a potential economic premium and the carbon emissions associated with importing a similar product across the Atlantic from a European supplier.  The company’s first door — shown in video here — was installed at their Karuna House project, which is pursuing PHIUS+ Passive House, Minergie-P-ECO, LEED for Homes Platinum, and net-zero energy designations (which I’ll explore in a subsequent article).  More about custom Passive House doors.

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The First Passive House in Salt Lake City

This will be the first certified Passive House in the city limits of Salt Lake City (not to take anything away from the Breezeway House located outside the city in Salt Lake County), if certification by PHIUS goes as planned. I visited the home on a nice sunny day a couple weeks ago, but the photos of this beginning photographer didn’t turn out as I’d originally expected.* That said, I hope you can get a feeling for the contemporary design and some of the materials and technology that went into this ultra-efficient home.

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Wood-Panel Passivhaus in British Columbia

Marken Projects is working on another Passive House in British Columbia.  This 3,500-square-foot home, made with a panelized prefab system like the Rainbow Duplex, will house two families and three generations under the same roof in Surrey, British Columbia.  The aim is an affordable structure that uses 90% less energy for heating and cooling than a standard home.  It’ll have triple-pane windows, an HRV, solar hot water, rainwater harvesting, no-VOC materials, and the ultra-efficient and airtight shell.   Construction will take about five months, and I’ll provide an update with more detail at that time.

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LEED Platinum Passive House in Taos

I’ve seen several projects pursue both LEED Platinum and Passive House certification, but I can’t think of any that actually went through with the aim other than this Passive House, Platinum-certified home in Taos, New Mexico.  The 2,400 square-foot home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a garage, and 1.1 acres of land with a serene, scenic view of Taos Mountain to the east, Truchas Peaks to the South, and pasture land to the west.

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