Houzz Tour: Complex Residence, Heated and Cooled by Layout

Rather than relying on technologies such as photovoltaic arrays and solar hot water heaters, a passive house is designed to maximize its ability to heat itself in winter and cool itself in summer. To do this requires careful consideration of a home’s site and how the sun moves across the sky, in which the trees and other vegetation are situated, where the winters winds come from, etc.. This manner, a passive house relies more on great design and proper site location than anything else.

Produced by architect Dennis Wedlick, this Hudson Passive project is the first certified passive house in New York State and one of the very energy efficient houses on the planet. It had been accomplished with the Aid of New York State and is designed in accordance with the criteria established by the German Passivhaus Institut. These criteria, which target a general savings of 90 percent in the energy consumption, are common in Europe but relatively new in the United States, with only 12 houses certified to date.

Located in the Hudson River Valley about a two-hour driveway north of New York City, the Hudson Passive Project’s design was inspired by traditional Upstate New York barn design. Stone walls and a laminated wood structure support a simple gable roof. The large, south facing glass wall illuminates and warms the interior.

In the space, the easy, barn-like architecture fits in with the landscape and the traditional architectural forms of the Hudson River Valley.

The massive glass wall at the south end of the house allows the interior lighting shine through in the night hours, turning the house into a giant lantern in the landscape. Although snow blankets the landscape, the house stays warm and inviting.

Sunlight is changed into heat as it passes through the glass, warming in addition to illuminating the house.

The main living room features the large south facing glass wall and an elegant laminated wood framework.

The stained concrete flooring incorporates radiant heating elements to keep the occupants warm .

The bedrooms and bathrooms are at the north end of the house. A loft-like space includes 2 bedrooms while the master bedroom is on the first floor.

The loft area has views of this excellent room and out into the landscape outside. The concrete floor is a large thermal mass to collect and keep heat generated during the day. At night, the heat stored in the floor radiates out in the rooms.

More info:
Find out more about the design and workings of the Home
Passive House Institute

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