The New American Foursquare
Today is Earth Day, and it seems an auspicious time to announce a groundbreaking event… in both senses of that word. On May 24 our first Passive House, and the first Passive House in the DC metro area will begin to take shape on North Chelsea Lane in Bethesda, Maryland. Twelve years ago our firm began the transition toward sustainable design. It has been quite an adventure, and with the construction of this home, we will finally have reached our goal.
We are calling the project The New American Foursquare. Our goal for this first house is to demonstrate that Passive House construction can be mainstream construction, both in terms of cost and design. On the cost side, the house will cost roughly $225 per square foot, exclusive of land costs – which places it squarely in middle range of high quality custom homes. With regard to design, our influence is the original American Foursquare, developed a hundred years ago by Sears Roebuck as the new house for a growing middle class. You have seen them up and down the Main Streets and Elm Streets of most every American town and city. They were designed to be economical to build and efficient with regard to space. These same principles make them well-suited for Passive House construction.
Our first project, the first Passive House in the DC metro area.