Park Passive in the Daily Journal of Commerce

New Madison Park house will meet Passive House standards


Rendering courtesy of NK Architects [enlarge]

Seattle-based NK Architects and Cascade Built are building a house in Madison Park that will meet the standards for Passive House projects.

The team said in a press release that they expect the three-story, 2,400-square-foot house to use 90 percent less energy for heating than a typical house.

Marie Ljubojevic and Lauren McCunney of NK said it will have an open floor plan, with high ceilings and natural light. Wood from a tree on the site is being used for built-in storage units.

The designers said they reduced the need for mechanical heating and cooling, reduced the carbon footprint and dramatically improved indoor air quality by focusing on air sealing and insulation. There is as much as 16 inches of insulation in the walls and ceilings.

They also are using high-performance windows, solar hot water, zero-VOC finishes and a heat recovery ventilator.

The project is scheduled to be done early next year.

Ritchie said every Cascade Built project meets green building standards set by third-party organizations, including LEED and Built Green and now Passive House Institute US.

He said the development process for Passive House has been “a lot more intense than anything I’ve done before.”

Ritchie estimated that a Passive House-type project costs 10 percent more to build than a conventional house. The biggest expenses are for ventilation, insulation and better-performing glass.

Long term, Ritchie said he would like to apply passive techniques to multifamily projects. Apartments have fewer exterior walls that lose heat and require less expensive windows than single-family structures.

Rob Harrison of Harrison Architects was involved with the initial design and later modifications to help meet the Passive House standard. Dan Whitmore Hammer and Hand is providing additional Passive House consulting during construction. Yu & Trochalakis, PLLC were the structural engineers. Jonathan Cohen of ImaginEnergy provided mechanical consulting. Landscape design is by Allworth Design and Donna Bergeron of Donna Bergeron Interior Design is doing the interiors.

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