This ultra-green house for a Seattle family of four has achieved an exceptional level of sustainability without compromising on aesthetics. Shed Architecture & Design designed and Hammer & Hand built the Madrona Passive House as a net-zero residence for former Microsoft program manager and renowned environmental advocate Jabe Blumenthal. With a super-insulated envelope and passive design features such as heat recovery systems, photovoltaics, green roofs and stormwater and rainwater harvesting, the house minimizes its energy consumption and act as a stellar example of climate-friendly living.
The 3,700-square-foot home relies on solar panels, high-performance construction and a contemporary design for its energy efficiency. A well insulated envelope which includes a Zehnder ComfoAir heat recovery ventilator that pumps fresh air into the interior contributes to its low energy consumption.
This technology also recovers 90 percent of thermal energy from exhaust air for reuse inside. Rainwater from the home’s roof and the green roof on the garage goes into two cisterns via permeable pavers, while mechanical shading system and triple-pane windows regulate solar gain. The owners can also tap into the building’s real-time consumption by using the circuit-by-circuit energy monitoring system with dashboard.
Achieving the world’s most demanding building energy standards – Passive House – the building is expected to also receive the Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready and Living Building Challenge’s Net Zero Energy Building certifications. The project was recognized by Green Builder Media as winner of the 2016 Green Home of the Year Award in the Best Energy Efficiency category.