Park Passive Project Selected for AIA Explore Design Home Tour

Posted by nk on July 10, 2013

We are proud to announce that our Passive House project, Park Passive, will be showcased in AIA Seattle’s first-ever Explore Design Home Tour. One of seven homes on the tour, the striking modern home on a small urban infill lot was designed by Marie Ljubojevic and Lauren McCunney and built by sustainable builder/developer Sloan Ritchie of Cascade Built.

Park Passive is the first certified Passive House located in Seattle. The home was certified by the Passive House Academy and authorized by the Passivhaus Institut, which sets rigorous design standards for energy use and air infiltration that translate into significantly decreased energy consumption, improved thermal comfort, and superior indoor air quality.  The Passive House consultants on this project were Rob Harrison and Dan Whitmore.

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Photograph 1: Aaron Leitz Photography

Park Passive was built on one of the most difficult sites available for designing a Passive House. Early design challenges included a small, shallow floor plate; a zoning envelope that required us to work with the form of the existing house; and Passive House requirements that stipulated minimized glazing on the north side of the house, where windows would have been intuitively placed and necessitated 18” thick walls.

We addressed these challenges by emphasizing the vertical space and playing with wall thickness on the front façade. This led to interesting design features and spatial surprises, such as the double-height vaulted kitchen space that visually connects the main living area to the upstairs kids play area; a day-lit open stair punctuated with views to the street and a carved out nook for a window bench; and several large skylights that offer abundant daylight throughout the main living space. The design also widened the floor plate and addressed the lack of a back yard by creating a strong tie to the front yard using a large lift-slide door and expansive glazing. Trees removed from the site due to the lot size were salvaged for stair treads, wall paneling, and a live-edge bathroom counter top, creating warmth and a contrast to the white walls.

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Photograph 2: Aaron Leitz Photography

As one of Washington State’s most energy efficient homes, the 4-bedroom, 3-bath Park Passive uses approximately 75-80% less overall energy compared to homes built to today’s code standards. This figure reflects all of the energy used in the home by its family of four for electronics, cooking and refrigeration, clothes washing and drying, and hot water for bathing and dishwashing.

Park Passive’s average indoor air temperature of 70 degrees is managed by opening and closing its Intus high performance windows and doors in summer and using the heat recovery ventilator when it’s colder.

In addition to completing our first Passive House project, we recently added Joseph Giampietro, a founding member of Passive House NW and Certified Passive House Consultant to our team as a managing associate to bolster our experience in Passive House design.

Purchase tickets to view Park Passive on the AIA Explore Design Home Tour on Saturday, September 14, 2013 here.