Hudson Passive House, in New York’s Columbia County, though only recently completed, is already familiar to Passive House fans in the region.
Last month, for example, the 1,650-sq.-ft. timber-frame home played host to 20-plus members of New York Passive House (NYPH), a New York City-based group of “Passivists” (consultants, contractors, architects, engineers, homeowners, developers, and others) who caravanned two hours north of the city to the project site in Claverack, a scenic town a few miles east of the Hudson River. Joined by several people from the community, the NYPH contingent participated in what the project’s architect, Dennis Wedlick, and other project partners called the Hudson Passive House Hard-Hat Tour, a show-and-tell event held November 13 and 14.
The three-bedroom, two-bath house also has been the subject of an American Institute of Architects/NYPH presentation, a segment on WABC-TV’s Sunday-morning feature program “New York Viewpoint,” and write-ups in print and online publications, including a recent EcoHome post that brought it to our attention.
A well-sealed envelope
So as new as it is to the landscape, the barn-like Hudson Passive House, whose 25-ft. bow-arch beams were raised in late June, has been successfully marketed into modest celebrity. Structural insulated panels were used for the walls and roof, bringing their respective R values to 48 and 54. The foundation floor is insulated to R-60 with six layers of expanded polystyrene and, on the interior and exterior of the foundation walls, extruded polystyrene.
Mechanical ventilation is provided by a Zehnder ComfoAir 200 heat-recovery ventilator, while space heating is provided by a minisplit air-source heat pump that is mounted in the wall of the loft space at the north end of the building.
The building is exceptionally airtight, even by Passive House standards. A blower-door test showed 0.149 air changes per hour at a pressure difference of 50 Pascals. Wedlick told EcoHome that construction costs likely will range from $200 to $250 per sq. ft. ($330,000 to $412,000).
The NYPH organizers apparently liked what they saw and, in a blog post about their visit in November, suggested they might make another trip to the house in the dead of winter “so we can actually experience the PH really ‘working.’”