This blog is about a special house being built on Old Hopkins Road in Clarksville, Maryland.
Our goal is to design and build the house so that it makes a positive contribution to the environment, to its occupants’ health, and to the community. To attain these goals and to demonstrate that we’ve met them, we are working to have the house certified by the Passive House Institute of the United States, by the Living Building Challenge, and by LEED.
A Passive House meets a stringent energy standard. They use about one-tenth the energy of the average house while adding on the order of 10% to cost.
A Living Building Challenge House is the perhaps the most rigorous performance standard to which a house can be built. To be certified under the Challenge, the house and its yard must meet a series of ambitious performance requirements. This includes a demonstration of net zero energy consumption, waste production, and water use measured over a year.
A LEED House meets standards that recognize best-in-class performance and strategies.
Any one of these three certifications reduces the negative impact of a house on the environment and increases its contribution to a healthy community. Our hope is that all three certifications will work synergistically to almost totally eliminate the undesirable impacts of the house and refocus it into a literally beautiful contributor to a healthy environment and community.