McDonough + Partners “Flow House” for Make It Right cited as precedent for new Passive House for NOLA Competition

We are honored that some of our work for Make It Right, including our duplex design, “Flow House” are being referenced as precedents in a new competition, entries for which are due in May.

The Passive House for New Orleans Challenge–

According to Architecture 2030 and the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the building sector consumes two-thirds (77%) of all electricity produced in the U.S. and is responsible for producing nearly half (46.9%) of U.S. CO2 emissions in 2009. By comparison, transportation accounted for 33.5% of CO2 emissions and industry just 19.6%. Globally, these numbers are even worse. However with this enormous problem, comes enormous potential. As the Obama Administration recently outlined in the Better Building Initiative, building energy efficiency is the most cost effective way to reduce our energy consumption and dependence upon fossil fuels.

The technologies necessary to achieve significant energy reductions in buildings are cheap and readily available: no exotic mechanical systems or costly renewable energy sources are needed. These technologies have already been successfully applied to achieve dramatic reductions in tens of thousands of buildings across Europe and North America using the Passive House Standard, the world’s most rigorous building energy standard. By combining an airtight, thermal-bridge free and super-insulated building enclosure, with passive internal and solar gains with balanced energy recovery ventilation, buildings built to the Passive House Standard have shown measured reductions in space heating and cooling energy consumption up to 90% compared to standard energy code requirements.

This challenge, coinciding with the 2011 AIA National Convention, seeks to address this issue directly by engaging the design community in developing a series of affordable, low-energy, single-family homes for the communities in New Orleans that are still recovering from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. The homes that are rebuilt in these communities will need to be sustainable in the broadest sense of the term: affordable to build and purchase, long-lasting, with minimal impact on the local environment, and affordable to heat and cool throughout the life of the building. Adhering our Challenge Objectives to the Passive House Standard will insure that all of these goals are met.

One of the first Passive House projects completed in the US, the Fairview House in Urbana, Illinois, was sold to a resident displaced by Hurricane Katrina. It’s time to give New Orleans residents a Passive House of their own to come home to.

For details on the timeline, jury, and requirements, check out the full post here.