the prescott passive house by studio 804 all images courtesy studio 804

the prescott passive house by studio 804 is the product of eight months of research, experimentation, design, and construction by the architecture studio’s sixteen graduate students at the university of kansas.  located in kansas city, kansas, the single-family home is designed to both LEED platinum and passive house standards.

studio 804: the prescott passive house

the house acts as a prototype for the region, as it aims at being the first certified passive house in the state of kansas, and one of only a handful in the country.  to obtain its goal of a 90% reduction in heating and cooling energy demand, the house uses low cost passive strategies such as louvers, thermal mass, high performance windows, super insulation, southern orientation, and an air tight building envelope.  an energy recovery ventilator works in conjunction with these strategies to temper fresh intake air with energy from the exhaust air, providing constant fresh air year round.

studio 804: the prescott passive house louver detail

the 1,700 square foot, three bedroom, two bath residence bestows many amenities within a small ecological footprint.  despite its modest size, the open floor plan creates a spacious interior. a double height living room connects the main floor with the upper level, where the master bedroom is located.  the stacked master bathroom and main floor bathroom are flooded with natural light through an internal two-story frosted glass wall across from the expansive southern glazing.  overlooking the living room and southern array of windows  is the flexible  loft space. on the main level, the living room is connected to the kitchen and dining spaces with an exposed concrete thermal mass floor, while a change in overhead height articulates the different spaces. these living areas are located just off of the 400 sf deck, which lends uninhibited views of the prescott neighborhood and the kansas city skyline while doubly functioning as the carport roof. at the west end of the main level are two additional bedrooms with views to the surrounding double width lot. while remote controlled operable skylights create the only break in the northern envelope of the house, operable glazing stretches the entire length of the southern side to encourage natural ventilation. this impressive façade is protected by louvers optimally angled to allow winter heat gain yet block sunlight from penetrating the house in the summer.  downstairs, a full walkout basement provides ample storage as well as a finished flex room located directly off of the carport.

studio 804: the prescott passive house the front of the house

a 16 inch thick insulated wall assembly and a 22 inch thick insulated roof assembly provide the basis for a home that seeks a 90% reduction in heating and cooling energy.  the airtight assembly nearly eliminates nearly all heat transfer through the building envelope, keeping all heat gained from the high performance glazing within the house.  the energy recovery ventilator and thermal masses seek to further maintain a constant interior temperature, reducing nearly all need for additional tempering support.  outside, clotheslines discourage the use of an electric clothes dryer, one of the most inefficient of the otherwise energy star rated appliances.  in the spirit of the age-old japanese shou-sugi-ban tradition, the exterior of the prescott passive house is clad in a charred douglas fir rainscreen.  this low-maintenance assembly yields a UV protected dark black finish to the house.  recycled paper windowsills and countertops,bamboo flooring, and concrete thermal mass floor complement the clean white interior walls and ceiling.

studio 804: the prescott passive house the outdoor area

studio 804: the prescott passive house leading into the living area

studio 804: the prescott passive house staircase

studio 804: the prescott passive house living space

studio 804: the prescott passive house at night

studio 804, a not-for profit, design/build program at the university of kansas, is a student led process that creates affordable architecture while thoughtfully responding to global problems of density and sustainability using smaller scale, local solutions. prior to the prescott passive house project, and over the course of its fourteen year history under the direction of dan rockhill, jl constant distinguished professor of architecture, studio 804 has succeeded as the impetus of change in older neighborhoods throughout kansas city and lawrence, kansas. prescott passive house will be their third LEED platinum building in kansas.

studio 804 serves as the final design studio for graduate students at the university of kansas school of architecture, design and planning. their projects are funded by the efforts of the sixteen students enrolled in the program who are also faced with the responsibility of selling the house.

project info: project name: prescott passive house project location: kansas city, kansas, usa completion date  may 2010 designer:  studio 804 photographer: courtesy of studio 804 client: speculative housing building area: 1700 sf