Nearly 13 years after building their dream team, Peabody Architects has their aptly named The New American Foursquare Passive House well under way in Bethesda, MD.
With the strong drive and determination to put together a project that is Passive in design and the guidance of a great team including award winning HVAC contractors and Earthcraft Technical advisers, Alexandria, Virginia based Peabody Architects is on their way to creating the DC Metro area’s first completely passively designed home. From the get-go this project has been done the right way, they put together a team with the dedication to the plan, to create a home which would embody tight construction, comfort, health and utilize building principles which encourage the home to be built as a system.
In a quote from their blog over a year ago, Peabody’s design team mention ” While the house won’t look different from a traditional home, you will clearly feel a difference from the moment you walk inside this house. Passive Houses are exceptionally quiet and comfortable. There is no stratification of air; there are no drafts, there is no feeling being hot or cold when standing next to a window. Consistently in European surveys (where over 20,000 Passive Houses have now been certified), it is the comfort of these houses most remarked upon by their owners.” This truly defines how this home has been produced; it is a gorgeous space, that is set apart by its efficiency and conscientiousness, not by its outward appearance, which is what some people tend to think when they start to let their minds wander about green, energy efficient or passive homes if they aren’t familiar with the concept.
Passive homes are a German concept which is quickly catching on in the US- and rightly so with the change in our climate and the climbing energy costs; it even suits are needs here in the mid-Atlantic. The Passive House Institute US states that ” Passive Houses are affordable, comfortable homes that meet the most rigorous building energy standard in the world. Far more than a checklist of green building options, Passive House design is a state-of-the-art, systematic approach to super-efficient construction that reduces space heating and cooling loads by an amazing 90%…Passive House standard puts true carbon-neutrality within reach. Today. Ten thousand Passive Houses have already been built in Europe, but this approach to home building has only very recently gained traction here in the U.S. ”
From site location to the actual products used in the homes, Passively designed homes such as the Peabody Architects New American Foursquare out in Bethesda, MD which is comprised of SIPs panels, super high efficiency HVAC system, tight windows, short duct runs and compact plumbing systems need to keep their projects on target from the outset. Peabody’s team was able to do this by organizing their plan from the beginning and understanding this key component: inspection and a system of checks and balances. What is highly important is that throughout the build process- that the whole home is inspected and kept on track by someone like the Conway Construction team who would be able to help identify any potential issues which could breach the thermal envelope of the home. Since this is a home which is to be built tight and ventilated right, as we like to say, it is imperative that an auditor such as this be able to work with the builder team throughout the process to guide them through the energy efficiency process. As a member of the team The Green Gobbler is the HERS rater -providing energy efficiency guidance, energy modeling and diagnostic testing during the pre-drywall and final portions of the project. We’re all excited to see this first Passively designed home in the DC Metro area and proud to have been a part of this great team put together by the Peabody Architects group.
As the Peabody team brings this project to a close, we will keep you posted on the progress. Keep tabs on this project through our blog and join the discussion on our Facebook page.
Tags: earthcraft homes, earthcraft technical adivsers, earthcraft virginia, energy efficiency, green built homes, green homes in dc metro area, healthy homes, high performance homes, new american foursquare, new green homes in dc metro area, passive design, passive home, Passive House, passive house institute, peabody architects