SUSTAINABLE HOUSE BREAKS THE COST BARRIER
VOLKsHouse is a response to America’s overuse of energy resources and the typically higher cost of green construction. Based on energy-conserving Passive House technology, it was built to prove that eco-construction can be fully cost-competitive with traditional construction and to pioneer healthy and affordable green housing. Designed by award-winning WAMO Architects in Santa Fe, it is the first certified Passive House on the New Mexico market using 90% less energy for heating and cooling, costing 6.5% less per square foot to build than a conventional home and designed to give power back to the grid. Energy performance is monitored daily and financial records will be audited to verify savings. VOLKsHouse is the third cost and energy-saving WAMO Passive House and plans are being developed to build sustainable housing in cooperation with the New Mexico Housing Trust. VOLKsHouse sets a baseline for driving down construction costs, serves as a model for training and educating builders, establishes new standards for affordable housing, and unlocks economic potential for the expansion of green living and eco-construction. If a Passive House uses far less energy and costs less to build, there’s no longer any reason to build anything else.
Partner and Investor: Bob Schneck, Director, VOLKsHouse, NY
Architects: Vahid Mojarrab, WAMO Studio, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Project Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Construction Cost: $161 per square foot
Total Estimated Sales Price: $415,000
Estimated Site Energy Use: 0
Completion Date: April 2012
The VOLKsHouse is a site-net-zero single family residence being built in Santa Fe New Mexico. The project has been designed to exceed Passive House requirements for certification which serves to bring the overall projected energy use down by approximately 85%. An integrated solar thermal system is designed to provide 100% of the remaining heating and domestic hot water needs. The balance of energy use, mostly due to domestic use such as lighting and cooking is generated by a small PV solar system. All of this is currently under construction for approximately 20% less then typical construction costs and is designed to meet the the financial needs of workforce Housing in our area.
Please follow along as we detail the project and construction techniques used in Passive House construction, as well as discussion of how an integrated approach to sustainability can lead to dramatically reduced construction costs.
WAMO – Wamo Studio: wamostudio.com
Passive House Initiative Project (PHI): mo-s-a.com/category/passivehouse/
Passive House Institute, Darnstadt Germany: http://www.passiv.de/07_eng/index_e.html
VOLKsHouse – Fact Sheet
VOLKsHouse is a revolution––a prototype for America’s affordable, net-positive, sustainable future. VOLKsHouse integrates Passive House conservation strategies and solar hot-water and electrical systems with contemporary design to create an exceptionally efficient home at lower-than-market construction costs.
Energy and Cost Efficient:
Uses 90 percent less energy and costs 6.5% less than a comparable conventional home in Santa Fe. German-engineered Optiwin 3-layer windows and doors deliver some of the world’s highest true R-values (standard measure of thermal efficiency).
Certified as a Passive House, the global standard for energy efficiency, and rated Emerald by the National Home Builders Association.
Maximizes energy savings with passive-solar design, solar hot water and solar electricity.
Energy Recovery Technology:
Minimizes thermal losses and maximizes gains while maintaining unprecedented indoor air quality.
Ensures comfort in every season in every room with a well-insulated thermal envelope.
Uses only low-VoC (volatile organic compound) finishes.
Protects owners from rising energy costs.
Includes energy-monitoring system and efficient LED lighting.
1,717 square feet (conditioned); 3 bedrooms/2 baths; two-car garage; rooftop patio.
1351 Ferguson Lane on Agua Fria, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Investment in the Future:
Pioneering the way forward to sustainable living