Archive for Tuesday, December 7, 2010

House built by KU’s Studio 804 is the first in Kansas to achieve ‘Passive House’ status

December 7, 2010


A house built by Kansas University’s Studio 804 class has earned “Passive House” designation for its design features that help dramatically lower its energy usage.

It is the first building in Kansas to achieve that status and one of a handful nationwide, said Dan Rockhill, distinguished professor of architecture, who coordinates the Studio 804 program.

Designers of a passive house aim to reduce heating and cooling demands by 90 percent, by using better insulation and windows.

Jennifer Mayfield, who was a student who worked on the house at 32 S. 16th St. in Kansas City, Kan., said the windows were triple-paned and special-ordered from Austria.

She said a special ventilation system transfers heat from the stale air, leaving the house to new, fresh air that’s pumped in.

Rockhill said that to obtain designation, a number of tests had to be performed, including one where smoke was pumped into the house. Students looked for areas where smoke was escaping and sealed them.

Even after the designation, the passive house still hasn’t sold on the market, even though Rockhill has taken the value down to $159,000 after initially listing it at $180,000.

It’s a difficult market for all houses, he said, and it’s intentionally placed in an area that’s struggling economically in an effort to revitalize the neighborhood.

“It’s going to take a certain kind of person who’s going to want to live there,” he said.


pea 7 years, 5 months ago

"Rockhill has taken the value down to $159,000". Price. Rockhill took down the price. The value is yet to be determined.

LogicMan 7 years, 5 months ago

Hope it sells soon, but if not:

Is a house a house if no one wants to live in it? If not, what is it?

Just wondering out loud.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 5 months ago

Holsteins would feel right at home. Just throw some hay on the floor & call it good.

Pitt_Mackeson 7 years, 5 months ago

I would rather sleep in a bus station. Or a dumpster.

imastinker 7 years, 5 months ago

You could buy a whole city block in the neighborhood it's in for the asking price.

LogicMan 7 years, 5 months ago

Has the new house been broken into or vandalized? Hopefully not, but vacant houses tend to attract unwanted attention.

Janet Lowther 7 years, 5 months ago

That has to be the ugliest house I've seen in years, worse than the ugliest of the post-WWII prefabs.

It looks like they spent their design effort entirely on efficiency, and produced an atrocity that needs to have ivy planted around it.

Efficiency is great, but when building a house aesthetics has to be a consideration.

I've seen better looking houses built out of shipping containers!

Some of Dan Rockhill's projects have been panned by their neighbors, but at least they have been cool looking houses. I doubt if the neighbors will complain about this monstrosity, but it won't contribute much more to the neighborhood than the empty lot did.

"Surgeons bury their mistakes. Architects can only plant ivy. . ."

aa469285 7 years, 5 months ago

Does the "passive house" distinction in this case means people will "pass" on buying?

BigPrune 7 years, 5 months ago

i like because it's "passive" as opposed to "agressive" though the price drop makes it "passive-agressive."

are wheels built in?

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