MARTaK Passive House

Architecture Residential Masonville , United States

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1 Video

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Designer builds efficient off-grid Passive House in Colorado

Description

Colorado’s first certified international Passive House is located off grid in the foothills of the front range of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 2050 meters. The pristine forest location inspired a building system which emphasized organic materials over foams, as well as to minimize concrete.The off grid home is the state's most energy efficient building.
The home’s wedge shape provides good solar access to the south while preserving adjacent Ponderosa Pine trees which in turn provides summer shading. The north and east side of the house evokes the distinctive local hogback mountain ranges with the roof plunging into the ground emulating a geological massing. This massing also creates unique internal volumes.
Designed for age-in-place the north egress also allows for a ramp as an alternative to stairs. The open layout main floor features a sunken shower, small kitchen, large bedroom, great room and work space. The upper portion contains a small bedroom and storage.
Inspired by Japanese contemporary homes the 116 square meter floor plan is largely open to emphasize the views, communication, and natural light. The finish materiality is simplified including plywood, cedar pickets, gypsum, slate and ceramic tile.
The workspace and upper bedroom is built with a cedar nail-lam floor and wall. A net bed separates the floors but provides a visual and acoustic connection and an occasional afternoon nap. The nail-lam also reduces finish materials and increases floor height by providing a thin floor plate.
The mechanical room is placed to the exterior of the passive house envelope to help maintain air tightness. Hydronic heating is supplemented with a solar electric pre-heater water tank. The HRV, located in the upper storage, is oversized for the building volume and incorporates an earthtube to eliminate the need for a core preheater in very cold weather. The earthtube also helps condition air in the summer.
The construction consists of a light timber framed interior wall sheathed in air tight taped plywood. A larson truss cavity filled with cellulose is encased to the exterior with mineral wool board. This assembly, along with tempered triple pane windows, fiber cement siding and steel roof, is wildfire resistant and vapor open to the exterior.
To eliminate the significant levels of foam typically used in a passive house foundation a crawlspace was utilized with 400mm insulated I-Joists bridging stem walls. The foundation walls have a thermally isolated lip to allow for the exterior elevation to come up to door level. The foundation design also significantly reduces the cost and impact of concrete.

Details

Project size

116 m2

Project Budget

$220000

Completion date

2016

Project team

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Hyperlocal Workshop

Designer