Chester County Passive House
West Grove, Pennsylvania
The 4,500-square-foot Chester County Passive House is modeled on a Finnish farmhouse with structural timber framing throughout and wood decks and porches that connect the home to its rural property. Hugh Lofting provided full construction management and timber framing and also collaborated on development and incorporating the first use of HOLZRAUM System into the project. The system of modular, panelized wood-fiber-based wall and roof assemblies combined with a comprehensive 3D design and fabrication model for high performance and minimal waste.
The house incorporates all-vapor-open wall assemblies for ultimate indoor air quality and durability, all-natural renewable materials that are free from hazardous substances and processed from sustainably managed forests, thermal bridge-free and airtight construction, and engineered all-wood components with airtight windows and doors. Panelized wall, floor, and roof assemblies were factory fabricated for faster site construction and to eliminate the waste associated with traditional construction. The house implements design requirements for Energy Star, DOE NetZero Ready, and PHIUS+ 2015.
Exposed timber framing highlights the entry atrium and main living spaces as well as the breezeway, outdoor porches, decks, and a pergola. Hugh Lofting supplied and installed the extensive structural timber scope including interior truss and ceiling beam systems, vaulted rafter sets, exterior deck posts and beams, and materials for the screened porch and breezeway millwork. A dramatic timber stair includes two runs of Douglas fir stringers with four-inch-thick Ash treads and a wood-slat accent wall.
Constructed, insulated, and airtight within six weeks, the Chester County Passive House includes four bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, kitchen, dining, family room, library, den, his-and-hers studies, a basement great room, sauna, utility rooms, and garage accessed via covered breezeway.
Read more about the home’s Passive House Construction via Chester County Press
Click to view drone footage of construction taken by Andy Papamarcos
Architect: C2 Architecture
Contractor: Hugh Lofting Timber Framing & High Performance Building
Structural Engineer: CKS Structures
Prefabricated Assemblies: HOLZRAUM System, manufactured by Blueprint Robotics
Completed: June 2020
Size: 4,500 square feet
Award: 2020 Green Building United Groundbreaker Award Finalist
Images © Kielinski Photographers, LLC