Completion of the blog for the American Foursquare

This house was completed in mid-2011. We have left the blog up so that others might learn something about building Passive Houses from our process.

The house has performed very close to our energy modeling projections. Average total energy costs for the house have run around $2400/year for a busy family with lots of small children coming in and out. That number is about $5 more/month than our Passive House modeling  had projected and about $5 less than the HERS rater’s model had projected.

Just as importantly the owners have found the comfort of the house to be incomparable. Read what they said in this May, 2013 Wall Street Journal article:

When homeowner Ian Kline recently put his home in Bethesda, Md., on the market, the glossy sales brochure noted that house is certified by both Passive House and Energy Star. It also contained four extra pages on its energy efficiency. Mr. Kline originally listed the residence for $1.59 million, but dropped the price to $1.49 million after a month. It is currently under contract. Mr. Kline bought the 4,660-square-foot house in October 2011 for $1.43 million.

In the Washington, D.C., area, environmentally friendly features are less of a selling point than in markets such as Berkeley, Calif., or Boulder, Colo., said Mr. Kline’s selling agent, Erich Cabe at Coldwell Banker. Still, he estimates that 40% of those who looked at the house had some knowledge of green homebuilding.

Mr. Kline, who heads a consultancy focused on energy and the environment, said he would have “stayed in the house forever,” but is moving out of town to gain space for a set of twins he and his wife are expecting, adding to a son and an existing set of twins. The couple will miss the home’s low utility bills, high air quality and the quiet created by the thick walls—as well as the green cred with their children.

“It has been awesome for the kids to be in this house,” said Mr. Kline. “Our son is interested in the environment. He thinks his dad is cool—most of the time.”

We are now working on two new Passive Houses. One will be built similarly to this one and the second will be modular. Both will use an exterior insulating finishing system (EIFS) on the exterior for additional insulation value and to eliminate thermal bridging. We will try to post these projects once we revise our website to handle blogs.

In the meantime I hope you will enjoy this blog. Scroll all the way to the bottom if you want to start from the beginning.

You can see completed photos of the house on our houzz site at: