Monday, February 6, 2012

New project: ICF Passive House in River Forest

I'm excited to share that I'm designing a new house (planned to be certified by PHIUS) for a wonderful young family, with a great team of builders.  The owners asked for a home that would not only be super-energy-efficient, but extremely strong as well.  They want a house that will last, and that will offer them psychological and physical comfort.  Working with clients like this makes being an architect so rewarding.

When they said they wanted a very strong house (in fact they asked for concrete), I thought of my friend and associate Eric Barton of Biltmore Insulated Concrete, an ICF expert that took the Passive House Consultant Training with me (and recently passed his exams, congrats Eric).  I also turned to Brandon Weiss of Weiss Building and Development, an award-winning green builder who focuses on building science and efficiency.  Brandon will be the GC, Eric will handle the ICFs and most of the thermal shell.  Having the complete team working toward a common vision is essential, so we're in a good position.

South wall
Schematic design is complete, and we plan to wrap up Design Development at the end of the week.  Initial Annual Heating Demand is coming in under 4kBTU/s.f. yr., including most thermal bridging accounted for; when we get the documents together at the end of the week, the project will go off to PHIUS for pre-certification.  After that, Andy Scott of Energistics will take over the rating part of the certification process. I'm going to cover the PHIUS+ process in some detail so those curious how it works can learn.  Here are a few renderings of the in-process design.