About

This 2,100 square-foot modern farmhouse, designed to meet the international Passive House standard, is home to a family of five. Owners Anne Decker and Steven Toomey set out to design an energy-efficient home with minimal mechanical systems and operating costs. The super-insulated and airtight building enclosure required to meet the Passive House standard helps achieve that goal.

Hayfield House RenderingPassive House is a quality assurance standard measuring the home’s energy use for heating and cooling, total energy use, and airtightness against specific performance criteria. It is considered the most stringent building energy standard in the world.

The house sits on a 7-acre property that has been in the owners’ family since the early 1900s, primarily as a hayfield. The house is a short walk from the town center. Large, triple-glazed wood windows on the south and west open the living space to the gently sloping terrain.

The efficient floorplan includes three bedrooms, two full and one half bathrooms, an office/guest room, mudroom, laundry/pantry connected to the kitchen, and a large open dining and living space enclosed by a locally-sourced timberframe. The house is connected to a separate garage by a covered walkway.

  • Living space – 2,100 square feet (4 bedrooms, 2-1/2 bathrooms)
  • Foundation – R-35, frost-protected slab, 8″ EPS subslab foam
  • Walls – R-54, 8-1/4″ Neopor Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) over 2×6 structural framing dense-packed with cellulose
  • 
Roof – R-90
, cellulose-filled truss system
  • Windows and doors – Kneer-Südfenster AHF115 Classic, triple-glazed, wood frames with exterior aluminum cladding

  • Space heating and cooling – Fujitsu 9RLS2 mini-split air source heat pump (one downstairs, one upstairs) with 60″ of electric resistance baseboard as backup
  • 
Domestic hot water – Rheem Marathon MR5024 50-gallon electric water heater with drainwater heat recovery system
  • Mechanical ventilation – Zehnder ComfoAir 350 Luxe ERV
  • Performance indicators
    • Predicted space heat demand (PHPP) – 14 kWh/m2/year
    • Predicted total source energy (PHPP) – 118 kWh/m2/year
    • Airtightness – 0.22 ACH50 (multi-point depressurization test, January 2014)
    • HERS Index – 39
  • Certifications

Elsewhere:

Image credit:

  • Hayfield House south elevation sketch by Todd Boyd

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