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2018 PHIUS Passive House Projects Competition

PHIUS certified project database listingPHIUS awarded the finalists of the 2018 Passive Projects Competition during the annual Design Awards ceremony on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at the 13th Annual North American Passive House Conference. Back by popular demand, this juried competition recognizes exemplary fully-certified passive building projects of all types and climate zones.

We extend special thanks to this year's panel of volunteer judges: Yanel de Angel, Jonathan Knowles, Mary Rogero, Walter Grondzik, and Katrin Klingenberg.

The competition awards Winner and Honorable Mention designations in the categories of Single Family, Multifamily, Affordable, Commercial, and Source Zero as well as Best Overall Project and Best Project by a Young Professional (Under 35). Competition entries were judged on their strength in the following categories: energy performance, design, craftsmanship, use of healthy materials, level of difficulty for the given climate and site, and cost effectiveness of the Affordable projects.

The 2018 Finalists were awarded as follows:





CPHC®: Graham Irwin
Builder: Sarter Construciton & Design Inc, DBA
Architect: RG-Architecture
PHIUS+ Verifier: Steve Mann, Home Energy Services
Developer: K&S Florida L.P.

This is the first PH Certified Multi-Unit Nanogrid structure ever brought to the US Real Estate Market. It is a six story 4 unit Carbon Neutral Living+Transportation system that allows and estimated 20 to 30 thousand miles of Zero Emission EV driving per unit annually. The resilience created by this "nanogrid" structure is unmatched in the USA, and globally. The 5 separate nanogrid energy systems seamlessly island from the grid in the event of any grid disruption, even during brown-outs or power surges.

Thus far, the occupied units are generating approximately twice the energy they are using. The excess generated energy is exported to the grid, (after ESS is at capacity), and can either be brought back later for EV charging, or "sold' to the CleanPower SF CCA (Community Choice Aggregation) for revenue at $.09 / kWh, with a check received annually. The best use of this excess is of course EV transportation, both from a GHG reduction, and from an economic view point. The TOU Net metering allowed by the PG&E or CCA "EV rate" credits excess peak TOU generation at $.415 / kWh, and can be brought back between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. for EV charging at approx. $.03 / kWh. This results in nearly a 1400% increase in excess generated energy value ( $.03 X 1400% = $.42) Each unit has 3 Tesla Powerwalls, creating redundancy and additional resilience by eliminating any single point of failure. The 5 systems combined add to that redundancy and resilience factor.

A community of such N+E nanogrids can be aggregated to form a 100% renewable energy community microgrid, with excess energy being used for infrastructure and electrified community transportation, ideally AEV's and AEV Buses. In summary, this is a highly efficient and resilient 100% renewable energy powered building system, designed to be integrated into a highly efficient and resilient 100% renewable energy Community system.

Learn more about SOL LUX ALPHA

PHIUS certified project database listing




Project Team:  Tessa Smith, AIA CPHC®, Randy Foster, CPHC® (Artisans Group); Owen Martin, CPHB; Brian Colbert, General Contractor; Skyler Swinford, CPHC®

Madison Passive House is a home designed for a modern urban lifestyle.

Our clients, Jeff and Sue, are two active empty nesters. They bought a lot within five walking minutes of downtown Olympia with a goal to build a modestly sized energy efficient home that would still allow them to host social gatherings, gracefully age in place, continue to bike as their primary mode of transportation, and encourage community involvement.

Years ago Jeff toured an under construction Artisans Group Passive House and left highly intrigued by the science and benefits of a home built to this standard. After we determined that a PH would be possible on their lot (with appropriate design considerations) they decided that the opportunity to build a custom home that drastically reduces their carbon footprint over time, has consistent temperatures throughout and provides them with high indoor air quality would be worth the additional investment.

We designed their Passive House to incorporate a great room with expansive views of the neighborhood so that they would feel visually connected with the community, a utility/bike room with immediate driveway accessibility and adequate space for bike repair and storage, a flex room that can be converted into a bedroom for overnight guests and resale value and Universal Design for Aging In Place throughout.

Just as Frank Lloyd Wright anticipated America's growing desire for cars with the extra garage space in the Robie House, this home design anticipates the changing desires of Americans to live within close proximity to urban services so that a car isn't necessary. While the driveway and carport of Madison House certainly allow for a horseless carriage, their flow into the bike room and proximity to services makes it easy for the home owners to rely on alternative modes of transportation. Given the move toward urban density, the rise of car sharing services and the impending revolution in driverless vehicles, we firmly believe that the single-family home design of the future will no longer default to assumptions of automobile ownership.

Learn more about Madison House

PHIUS certified project database listing




CPHC®: Jesse Thompson
Architect: Kaplan Thompson Architects
Builder: Shelterwood Construction
Engineer: Structural Integrity
PHIUS+ Rater: Karen Bushey, CPHC®

After retiring from their careers in New Jersey, an active professional couple decided to move to Vermont to be closer to their family. They wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to sensibly plan for the future by building a sunlit home in which they could comfortably age in place with predictable, low energy costs through the harsh Vermont winter. A spacious, open lot near a historic river village provided the perfect backdrop for the couple's favorite hobbies: gardening, woodworking, and yoga. The couple's son, owner of Shelterwood Construction, would have the chance to showcase his meticulous craftsmanship in a home lovingly built for his parents.

The home was built using very local natural materials that blend into the surrounding landscape. Cor-ten steel weathered clapboards transition from the earth to the wood clapboards above and the entire exterior has no finish, allowing the house to change and weather with the seasons. Many of the interior finishes, including the decorative stair wall, were made from locally-milled white pine that was harvested from the site.

This certified Passive House is designed to be lived in for a lifetime with wheelchair accessibility, wide doorways, accessible fixtures, and everything the couple needs located on the main level. Framed by large south-facing windows, the light-filled main living area includes a lofted ceiling transected with a glass bridge that connects the guest bedrooms above and looks out onto the garden and fruit trees below.

The attached barn, which creates a courtyard for gardens, houses a yoga studio and woodworking shop. With an ample array of solar panels and airtight construction to keep the heat in, the house is predicted to be net zero with no energy bills even in the coldest of Vermont winters. A Tesla Powerwall stores backup electricity for this all-electric home.

Learn more about the Joslin Hill Passive House

PHIUS certified projects database listing




CPHC®: John Loercher, Stephanie Bassler
Architect: North River Architecture and Planning, PC
Builder: Reynolds Design Associates, Inc.
Mechanical Systems Designer: Baukraft Engineering
Structural Engineer: Kaaterskill Associates
PHIUS+ Rater: Troy Hodas

Learn more about the Accord, NY Passive House

PHIUS certified projects database entry




CPHC®: Chris West
Builder: Rocket Construction Inc.
PHIUS+ Rater: Homesol Building Solutions

Learn more about The Springhouse | Maison des sources

PHIUS certified projects database entry




CPHC®: Tim McDonald
Architect: Onion Flats, Tim McDonald, Pat McDonald, Howard Steinberg, Johnny McDonald, Ted Singer, Lizzie Rothwell, Dan Addis, Kara Haggerty Wilson, Jonathan Doran, David Serrahima
Builder: JIG Inc
Structural Engineer: Larsen & Landis
MEP: Kitchen & Associates
PHIUS+ Rater and Verifier: Kitchen and Associates, Neil Goldman
Developer: Onion Flats, Tim McDonald, Pat McDonald, Howard Steinberg, Johnny McDonald

The Battery is the third phase in a 3-phase development called Capital Flats (CF), a 42 unit residential project built over an 18-year period in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia. CF is a unique form of "slow" development, designed and planned to be intentionally flexible and open to changing community and market needs. Each Phase of CF responded to an evolving set of neighborhood revitalization goals as well as economic, sustainable and developmental pressures unique to each period in Northern Liberties. Phase 1, The Factory, saw the retrofit of a former industrial meat packing plant into 8 hand-crafted apartments and promotes the first rule of sustainability: the most sustainable building is one that is already there. Phase 2, Thin Flats, became the FIRST LEED-H Platinum set of duplexes in the country and was honored with the 2010 ULI Global Award of Excellence. Phase 3, The Battery, completed in 2017, and winner of 2018 ULI Philadelphia Willard Rouse Award of Excellence, responds to two pressing local and global issues: 1. the need for attainable apartments below $1500/month + utilities, 2. the need for buildings (responsible for almost 50% of all greenhouse gas emissions) to zero-out their impact on global warming.

The need for attainable and sustainable market-rate housing in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods in Philadelphia, remains one of the City's most daunting challenges. Northern Liberties is one of those neighborhoods, now fully gentrified and increasingly more socially and economically homogenous. The Battery attempts to demonstrate how one re-balances that inequity by creating a four story, Net-Zero-Energy, PHIUS + Certified building (designed to consume 75% less energy than a similar code building), packed with 25 "micro-units." This Philadelphia version of a micro-unit is a one bedroom, 500sf apartment, with an average rent of $1375/month, including all utilities. In order to achieve this level of density, affordability, and sustainability, the design capitalizes on density bonus incentives for an extensive green roof, uses geo-thermal heating, cooling and hot water to ALL apartments, has a super-insulated, pre-fabricated, thermal envelop with triple-pane windows, air-tight construction and a 77 kW photovoltaic canopy on the roof designed to generate all the energy the building requires annually.

Learn more about Capital Flats: Phase 3, The Battery

PHIUS certified projects database listing




Architect: Curtis + Ginsberg Architects LLP
Structural Engineer:De Nardis Engineering, LLC
MEP Engineer: Johnson & Urban LLC
Expediter:William Vitacco Associates
Sustainability: Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
Developer: The Bluestone Organization

Learn more about Beach Green Dunes

PHIUS certified projects database listing




CPHC®: Jesse Thompson
Architect: Kaplan Thompson
Builder: Wright-Ryan Construction, Carroll Associates Landscape
Engineer: Ransom Consulting, Ripcord Engineering
Structural Engineer: Becker

The challenge: Bring 45 new affordable homes to Portland, Maine at a time when high rents and 1% vacancy rates have created a city-wide housing crisis. The building must be a best-in-class housing development that models sustainability, guarantees attainability for low-income residents, and serves as a community hub.

In 2013, Kaplan Thompson Architects partnered with the Portland Housing Authority, Avesta Housing, and Wright-Ryan Construction to win the national Lowering the Cost of Housing design competition, sponsored by Deutsche Bank and Enterprise Community Partners. The team was the only national winner, awarded for design innovation that prioritized energy efficiency, cost-effective building technologies, and equitable urban development.

Bayside Anchor is a deeply sustainable, socially and technically innovative project located in urban Portland. The ambitious model project is the first new Portland Housing Authority building to be constructed in 40 years.

The project was built to the PHIUS+ Passive House standard for only $142 per square foot in 2016, which is 20% less than the average cost for similar construction in Portland. Residents can count on miniscule heating bills in Maine's cold winters for the life of the building, thanks to careful integration of a continuously-operating fresh air ventilation system and a meticulously air-sealed building enclosure that will meet the most stringent global standard available (0.05 CFM50 or 0.37 ACH50!). The building will meet or exceed Passive House standards thanks to detailed planning for its insulation, airtightness, solar gains, and high-performance windows and doors.

Perhaps most importantly, Bayside Anchor is a vital social catalyst for the neighborhood, a place that is as beautiful in design as it is sustainable and affordable. The building includes artist-commissioned murals, a community police station, Housing Authority offices, and a Head Start Classroom on the ground floor, serving as a true anchor to the community.

Learn more about Bayside Anchor Apartments

PHIUS certified projects database entry




CPHC®: Chris Miksic
Builder: Chris Miksic, Bruce Laundry
Design: Four-way collaboration including Norwich University, Stonorov Design, Montpelier Construction and 5 Star Energy Tech
PHIUS+ Rater and Verifier: Karen Bushey, Efficiency Vermont

Learn more about the Central Vermont Chapter Habitat for Humanity

PHIUS certified projects database listing




CPHC®: Hans Breaux, Chris Briley (BRIBURN)
Architect: Harry Hepburn, CPHC® (BRIBURN)
Builder: Warren Construction
Mechanical Engineer: Allied Engineering, Inc.
PHIUS+ Rater: Diane Milliken Schless

The Maine Coast Waldorf School requested a building that fosters creativity, inspires curiosity, demonstrates environmental stewardship, and honors the learning spirit within its occupants. Located on a pastoral property consisting of over seventy acres in Freeport, Maine, the new high school building completes the campus by bringing students together from grades K through 12. The new 11,400 square foot building, built for 80 students, includes five flexible classrooms, a student center, conference and meeting rooms, faculty offices and a great room that can be used for movement, education and morning meetings.

The high school building occupies what was a sloping meadow north of the existing campus, separated by an entry drive and a row of trees. It is located facing south for good passive solar design and it is orientated with a view and a curving path that connects to the existing campus beyond, while also providing a sense of privacy from the younger students. A separate drop off and parking area was also provided.

The building design reflects the Waldorf principles for flexibility, abundant natural night, use of color, natural materials and anthroposophic design – creating organic expressionistic designs that cultivate a sensory experience. The simple volumes have been articulated to create visual interest, views, shading and improved natural lighting. The bend in the building reduces the length of the common corridors and defines a central place for lockers and spontaneous conversation. The timber framed portico adds shade and protection from the elements while creating and exterior room for teaching, eating and conversing; and the dormers on the roof bring natural light into the center of the building.

Energy conversation and sustainable design were essential components of the new high school. This project reached beyond the goal for net zero energy demand to pursue the highest energy standard available and to become the nation's first high school to receive passive house certification. In addition to PHIUS + 2015 certification (Passive House Institute US), the new building has received Maine Advanced Buildings certification from Efficiency Maine, certifying that the building is at least 30% more energy efficient than Maine's minimum energy code requirements. We achieved this through passive solar design, robust building envelopes, efficient HVAC systems, daylighting controls and shading.

The building envelope (wall and roof assemblies) uses dimensional and engineered wood lumber with dense-packed cellulose and 4" of rigid insulation was used on the exterior walls. The typical wall assembly has an R-value of 51.6 and the typical roof assembly has an R-value of 55.0. Triple-glazed windows and exterior doors were used through-out in addition to sophisticated building membranes and tapes to control the ingress of moisture from the outside and to prevent interior moisture from migrating into exterior walls. Ductless mini-splits were used for heating and cooling and Energy Recovery ventilators (ERV's) were installed to provide continuous fresh air. The building envelope and building systems were modeled using WUFI energy modelling software and the building was blower door tested twice, with a result of 0.040 CFM50/shell area.

Learn more about the Maine Coast Waldorf High School

PHIUS certified projects database listing



178 MAIN STREET, Cold Spring, NY

CPHC®: River Architects, James Hartford, John Loercher
Architect: River Architects, CPHC® and owner
Builder: Urban Myth and Balanced Builders Inc
PHIUS+ Rater: Troy Hodas of Spruce Mountain

Learn more about 178 MAIN STREET

PHIUS certified projects database listing




CPHC®: Michael Hindle
Architect: Miche Booz
Builder: Maryland Custom Home Builders
PHIUS+ Rater: Pando Alliance
Energy Consultant: David Peobody, Izumi Kitajima
Additional Modeling Consultant: Jay Hall, Hall and Associates

The Old Hopkins Road House is a prototype of exceptional environmental and universal design in a suburban setting, bucking current suburban housing trends of large-square-footage homes and turf lawns. The original goal was Passive House, but ultimately the house achieved LEED Platinum, Living Building Challenge Petal-certified and Net-Zero, WaterSense and Energy Star. This is the first LBC Petal-Certified House on the East Coast.

At 1800sf, the house is one of the smallest in the community, but dramatic contrasts in ceiling height and large windows and overhangs make this small dwelling feel large. Outside, the orchard, gardens, and sculptural solar array provide a range of humanly-scaled spaces that transition from private to public. A metal and masonry exterior requires nearly no maintenance.

The site was selected for its proximity to the Owner’s work place and for the possibility of orienting the long dimension of the building to the south. Roof overhangs on the south facade nearly eliminate solar heating in summer and allow plenty of winter sunshine.

A 7 KW photovoltaic array makes the house net-positive year-round and produced a 48% surplus in 2017. Rain gardens and a cistern hold all rainwater on site which is used to water a regenerative habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.

Beautiful, durable, sustainable materials such as stainless steel counters, bamboo cabinetry, glass and porcelain tiles are used throughout the house. The end goal is an attractive house of extraordinary environmental and universal design -- feasible and appropriate for any neighborhood -- with the hope that it will be replicated.

Learn more about the Old Hopkins Rd. House

PHIUS certified projects database listing




CPHC®: Graham Irwin
Builder: Sarter Construciton & Design Inc, DBA
Architect: RG-Architecture
PHIUS+ Verifier: Steve Mann, Home Energy Services
Developer: K&S Florida L.P.

Learn more about SOL LUX ALPHA

PHIUS certified project database listing

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