It was a sunny and balmy 80 degrees when we went to visit New Mexico’s most energy-efficient house, which was designed and built by Jonah Stanford, principle of Mojarrab Stanford Architects
and former president of Passive House Institute US
. Built as a live/work space near a reclaimed rail yard, the project is a highlight of the budding contemporary culture scene developing near the historic old town. The recently completed Passivhaus
is squarely based in modern design but it fits in neatly with the age-old pueblo style adobe buildings surrounding it. The real story though is how little energy the home consumes while still providing all the necessities for two working parents and their children. Read on to check out our exclusive look at this state-of-the-art home in the middle of the oldest capital in the US.
Santa Fe is the ideal climate for modeling Passivhaus buildings — summers can get hot and dry, while winters are bitterly cold at an elevation well north of 7,000 feet. Luckily, the sun shines a lot, and while this condition isn’t necessary for Passivhaus to be successful, the Balance House is able to take advantage of the great solar exposure, soaking the sun’s heat during the day and keeping it in at night and during inclement weather. The building is carefully shaded in the summer and does not require air conditioning.