Multifamily housing projects that meet Passive House standards are bringing European-style energy efficiency to a new demographic in the United States.
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Multipod Studio have designed the Pop-Up House, a housing concept that is low cost, uses recyclable materials and can be built in four days.
The structure, compiled of insulating blocks and wooden panels, delivers affordable thermal insulation. Heating represents close to 28% of global energy consumption and is also one of the main household costs. Determined to develop solutions, Multipod Studio have patented a unique approach to passive construction that delivers outstanding thermal insulation at an affordable cost.
No special tools required, the house is assembled using lightweight and recyclable materials for quick installation.
The materials used are inexpensive and the thermal envelope means no additional heating is necessary.
The house under the oaks is a low budget passive house concept developed for an Austrian family. With a minimum footprint and a wide outstretching wooden box on six columns it offers a living area of about 100 m2.
The whole structure was done in prefabricated timber with all ecological wood wool insulation of up to 60 cm. The interior is done all in local wood as well with a simple white pigmented oil cover. A heat pump with ground collector, a controlled ventilation system with heat exchange and photovoltaic panels on the roof offer a perfect energy concept with a minimum of required external energy – which is provided by eco electricity. It is a new prototype for affordable living on minimal energy standard in Austria.
This design seeks to accommodate privacy while allowing for comfortable living in the dense downtown area of central Tokyo. The rooms that need maximum privacy, such the bedrooms and bathroom, are located on the first and second floors. The living room and kitchen are on the third floor, with the study area above in a loft. The rooms are situated to maximize sunlight, and high ceilings at the upper floor allow for ample natural sun light from the windows on the south side of the structure.
The handrail design at the deck and translucent windows enable maximum privacy, and teel frame system allows for large spaces, while maintaining the budget and keeping project costs down...
The owners of this small weekender in Shoal Bay New Zealand wanted a getaway that was rugged, rural in character and felt unpretentious. Architect Gerald Parsonson responded with the design of a beautiful cedar clad bach in the form of two offset pavilions.
"Shoal Bay is a remote settlement on the rugged east coast of southern Hawkes Bay. The building is designed to be part of the rural setting, raised off the ground and sitting beside the original woolshed, which has served the bay since the early 1900's. The bach is rugged yet welcoming and offers unpretentious shelter, it is the type of place where you kick off your shoes and don't need to worry about walking sand through the house.
The sustainable, passive design features an interior spatial arrangement oriented for solar gain, shaded in the summer by the sliding shutters, which also provide shelter from the prevailing northwest winds. Also increasing the efficiency are high levels of insulation, along with solar panels that sit between the two pavilions...
Visit the link to view more images of this contemporary passive design that responds to its site and rural context...
Building a green home, while increasingly popular in recent years, isn't a completely new concept, and the House in Regensburg by Thomas Herzog, built in 1977, still resonates today as a unique and beautiful example of thoughtful, site-responsive architecture.
Elegant in its simplicity, the design employs key sustainable principles, including passive heating and cooling, appropriate material selection and responsive building form, all of which enable the structure to have minimal development impact while maintaining a high degree of efficiency- the result of an integrated approach to site, technology, and design.
Herzog's House in Regensburg is not only a beautiful example of modern design, but also a testament to the fact that creativity is not compromised by sustainability. In fact, creativity is enhanced by this type of contextual and innovative thinking, making for a project that is not only green, but timeless and visually engaging, in both concept and execution.
Winner of the sustainability category in the 2012 Houses Awards, the footprint of this home in Melbourne was actually reduced in size as part of an ingenious re-design by Make Architecture. Smaller spaces and multi-functional rooms were designed to “move towards smaller, more flexible houses as an essential response to conserve resources and reduce carbon footprints” say the architects. External screening was used to provide flexibility and allow for the expansion and contraction of spaces as required. Built in joinery and daybeds also streamlined the footprint.
The house reduction itself is an environmentally responsible design, achieved by a careful analysis of the family’s needs. As a result, many multi-functional spaces were incorporated: the kitchen can work as study/library/second living room. The house has been orientated for maximum solar gain, and the pergola and screens provide protection in summer and let winter sun in. Cross ventilation has also been carefully considered with high louvres used to vent the house in summer. Other sustainable features include water collection, led lighting, insulation, fans and the use of FSC certified timbers...
three towers emerge from an undulating topography of artificial hills which encases a 7-storey podium of retail and outdoor promenades.
Japanese practice Riken Yamamoto & Field shop has designed 'breeze', a cluster of three towers for the R2 block of the emerging yongsan international business district in Seoul, Korea. Three 47-storey tall buildings grow from a hilly landscape. The curving facades respond to the geography of the adjacent Han river and create unrestricted vistas of the waterfront. The positions in relation to each other, support cross ventilation and natural daylight.
Inset within the artificial topography, footprints emerge from the sloping rooftop park, starting wider and becoming more slender at the 20th floor. Offices and shopping at the base are linked with the elevated green public plaza, forming a secondary ground level for activity. Within the interior forum, 25 meter high spaces link the city side of the plan facing the river...
This 5209 square foot residence graces the hills of the Peninsula de Osa in Costa Rica. Built by Robles Arquitectos as the first phase for the Institute of sustainability, ecology, art, mind, and investigation(ISEAMI), this house will serve as a multifunctional space for the institution on the first level and a residence for the director on the second.
The home is based on a prefab module that is constructed out of 100 percent recyclable material and is 100 percent self sufficient. The project produces its own power from a solar power plant on the roof, fresh water from an on-site concession, and the home is bathed in passive design strategies.
Due to common mold and mildew issues in this region the home was designed to eliminate any airspace within the walls or floor and painting the residence white has made it possible to achieve an SRI rating of 100. Overall the structure is a great self sufficient and passive design model.
Casa Mecano was designed by Arquitectos Costa Rica and is located in Península de Osa, Costa Rica. The residence was especially developed to take in the surrounding landscape:
“Casa Mecano functions as an organism that adapts to its environment. The project maximizes the use of passive design strategies through bio-climatic architecture in order to achieve the thermal comfort levels, adequate for the tropical environment.”
The rooftop was projected as a sail and a manual system was designed, allowing the client to change its inclination, with the goal of controlling the direct sunlight projected inside the house. The interior design of this sustainable residence is highly modern, with a generous living and dining space acting as the core of the project...
This sweet and compact home was designed by Dennis Wedlick Architect, who has been long commited to sustainability, and built with the support of the New York State Energy Research Development Authority through the High Performance Energy Challenge.
It was intended as an energy conservation project, a prototype home-of-tomorrow that demonstrates the energy-saving potential of residential architecture.
This 3070 sq ft single family residence with detached garage is located on a 42 ft wide lot in Vancouver. The Dunbar Residence explores the potential for diversity of spatial experience in a home with a flexible plan that accommodates changes in everyday family life. In response to the owners‘ love of nature, interior-exterior relationships are established with outdoor patios and gardens at all levels. Spatially, light is used to define scale and intimacy within the home.
Designed and oriented for passive solar, the project also employs ultra high efficiency windows, solar hot water heating and a high performance heating / cooling system, including heat recovery that allow the home to operate with low energy consumption. The careful selection of appliances, plumbing fixtures, and lighting also reduce energy and water consumption. Interior elements, such as flooring and millwork, include recycled materials and low/no emission finishes. Planters on the roof reduce heat reflectance and rainwater runoff. Landscape design makes use of native, drought tolerant plant species and reclaimed stone.
The home was built by Natural Balance Home Builders Inc., a construction company that specializes in green building.
Green architecture, or durable construction, has the goal of using nature in a better way, without harming it. A green building has its own life cycle, encompassing everything- from rough construction to the smallest detail, following the laws of comfort and rationality. Passive houses are like living creatures; they are oxygen powered- upon taking in air, they process it, releasing the used air to the outside, keeping the temperature inside steady and disallowing the formation of moisture in the process.
Check out this Green Architecture image gallery for more green designs and a description of the sustainable features found at each project...
Marcel Sembat High School in Sotteville-lès-Rouen, France by Archi5 is an example of how architecture uses technology in surprising ways.
Part of a larger rehabilitation of the high school, the new workshop building features a series of linear bars, each with a sloped green roof. Small patios between these volumes open to create skylights, with daylight entering through large windows created by the offset of the linear volumes, illuminating the large workshops.
The environmental technology in the building is mostly passive. Located on a site between a park and the city with a large, the north-facing facade opens up to city views, while the southern side has smaller windows shaded by overhangs. The difference between the two heights creates the shape of the building, while the green roof helps deflect wind and creates a low-maintenance green plaza.
Park Passive is Seattle’s first certified Passive House, reducing heating consumption by nearly 90% to meet the rigorous standards for certification by the Passive House Academy and authorized by the Passivhaus Institut. Located on a small infill lot in Madison Park, this striking three-story modern home features a day-lit open stairwell with punctuated views to the street, double-height vaulted kitchen ceilings that visually connect the main living area to an upstairs kids play area, and an open floor plan that flows into a small yard. Park Passive is a model of innovative design that blends livability with sustainability.
Two passive solar gain houses built into the side of a hill in the English coastal village of Porthtowan on the Cornish coast by Simon Conder Associates.
The new buildings, which are partly buried in the hill to avoid obstructing views from properties higher up the slope, have a reduced impact on the landscape. Both are built into the 1 in 7 slope of the hillside, so the houses are single storey on the road side and two storey on the seaward side.
The two adjacent sites face south and this orientation creates two passive solar gain houses to minimise both the use of fossil fuels and energy costs. This has been achieved partly by fully glazing the southern elevations of the two houses and partly by using highly insulated, high mass construction for the remainder of the two houses.
Lendager Architects announced their first prize win in the competition to build the first DGNB-certified housing project in Denmark in Næstved.
DGNB is a new green building certification system expected to become the scale for sustainability in Europe. DGNB-Certification focuses on three equally weighted parameters: Environmental-, Social- and economical sustainability, for a holistic evaluation of built projects.
In total, the project will have 24 single family homes, built around a shared courtyard to encourage community and shared resources. Passive solar design with optimized window and shade placement allows for passive cooling and heating. Energy efficient design, including a tight thermal envelope with energy saving systems reduces power consumption, while rooftop photovoltaics produce electricity. Green roofs protect the home and provide further insulation. A close connection with nature and gardens encourages residents to live off the land.
As Lendager Architects told us about the project, “We wanted to answer the questions of how we can build without affecting the environment, how we can build without using new materials, how we can build houses that produce more energy than they use, and how sharing becomes a natural part of the daily life.”
The Oakpass Residence in Beverly Hillls resembles a sleek modernist box wrapped in floor to ceiling glass, 12 feet above the ground on 10 narrow columns. The structure was elevated to not only circumvent the stringent setback requirements, but to minimize the impact of development on the beautiful natural site, heavily wooded with oak trees.
This resulted in more light for the interior spaces, views from every room, and more privacy. Also it created a space underneath the house- part carport, part Zen garden. The pool is also elevated on 3 columns and the heavy exterior west facing concrete wall acts as a passive solar heat storage element.
The interior and exterior spaces blend seamlessly into each other due to the use of frameless floor to ceiling glass and a continuity of materials from the inside to the outside.
View more images of this minimalist, passive and site-responsive home at the link...
Energy Plus House by Unsangdong Architects creates a new type of energy-producing sustainable housing.
Read the complete article for details on Passivehaus requirements, as well as the green strategies and systems incorporated into the dynamic exterior and minimalist interior of the E+ Green Home...
314 Architecture Studio designed the H.2 Residence in a suburb of Athens, Greece. The building consists of three residential areas; each residence has two small bedrooms and one master. Outside the building, an atrium provides light to secondary areas of the house while working as a funnel for the exit of hot air to reduce energy consumption during the summer months.
The bioclimatic design and the positioning of the building with fixed louvers and the design of their exposures saves natural heating energy, while the connection between the building and water creates a natural cooling. The houses are equipped with underfloor heating systems and the materials used in floors and walls are natural. The colors and materials of this building are used to create a sense of harmony, modernity and at the same time luxury while the sculptures of Gianni Aspra dominated the walls of living rooms creating emotions and abstract mood. Finally the roof gardens with glass stairwells offer unlimited view of Argosaronic...
+HOUSE exemplifies a sustainable and healthy approach to building without sacrificingdesign.
Sited facing the bank of a stream-fed pond, this four-season house is nestled into a natural slope. Extensive 14-ft high glazing offers expansive views of the landscape and access to a full-length deck. Bedrooms are located on opposite ends of the rectangular plan, book-ending the open living spaces.
+ HOUSE is embedded with a wealth of health sensitive materials and methods. Built of inert cementitious blocks that inhibit the growth of fungi and molds, the walls are finished with a natural clay plaster that requires no paint finish. A soy-based sealer was used for the concrete floors and counters, and untreated silk and hemp fabric was used for the curtains.
Achieving a healthy house for both client and environment meant extensive research into a wide range of products and locally produced materials suited to the climate. A green roof, heat-mirror triple glazing, solar shading, passive ventilation and daylighting, and a geothermal system are just some of the features of this LEED Gold-targeted project...
Casa Mecano function as an organism composed by a structure, skin and a mechanism that adapts the its environment. The project maximize the use of passive design strategies through biocli matic architecture in sinergy with the integration of a Building Management System that operate the glazingvents in order to achieve the thermal comfort levels, adequate for the tropical environment.
At the same time, the team designed a manual system that allows the client to change the in clination of a sail, with the goal of controlling the direct sunlight projected inside the house. The project maximize function in the smallests pace possible, reducing the footprint and allowing the minimum use of construction materials...
A new 13,700 sf terminal building, this signature facility set a new standard for buildings in Nanaimo, BC, Canada. Situated on the edge of the Assembly Wharf, it contains a large welcome centre/multi-purpose hall, facilities for the Canadian Border Services Agency & offices for the Nanaimo Port Authority.
This building site was formerly used for the processing and storage of the wood products that were the lifeblood for the region. A connection is made to the past by employing a variety of wood products including large curved glulam columns and beams, interior and exterior wood screens, and stratified timber panels. These materials echo the region’s rich natural resource and make the main hall reminiscent of a giant ship’s hull. Large glass walls open up the hall to panoramic views of the Nanaimo harbour.
The building employs as a passive solar scheme, where sunlight enters through the extensive glazing, warms the stone floor and heat is slowly released and circulated before exiting through louvers at the top of the building...
Recently I realized that we neglected to follow up on a Passive House project discussed in pre-construction way back in March 2010.
Located in Little Compton, the 1,200 square-foot retreat has three bedrooms, one of which is a kid’s loft, two bathrooms, a tub room, and an open kitchen, dining and living area.
The handsome, gable-roofed structure saves energy with the combination of super insulation (R40 walls, R40 slab, and R70 roof), air sealing, high-performance windows, passive solar heating, a heat recovery ventilator, and an energy monitoring system, according a profile by ZED.
Other than LEED and Energy Star certification, Passive House certification is in progress.
Little Compton was finished with a modern Poggenpohl kitchen, contemporary furniture from Addo Novo, no- and low-VOC materials, paints, and sealants, and a whole-house ventilation system.
It can be argued that great architectural design is about relationships - light, land, human, and environmental needs all must be aligned for a project to excel. Ignatov Architects’ Equinox House answers all these needs with a celestial vision and Passive House performance.
The home is deeply integrated with its site near the shore and close to the town Kavarna in Bulgaria. A sloped window set to the angle of the summer solstice transforms the home's interior into a measure of the seasonal waxing and waning of the sun. This facade also dramatically improves the performance of the house with huge windows overlooking the Black Sea...