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Net-Zero Passive-Style House Wins Top Sustainability Award

  • 1.  Net-Zero Passive-Style House Wins Top Sustainability Award

    BPA Staff Member
    Posted 26 days ago
    by Alan Naditz


    The Felicity House, Green Builder's Green Home of the Year grand winner, started out as a property that had not aged gracefully. Built in the early 1900s, the Bellingham, Washington residence had many toxic materials, did not meet current building code standards due to extremely steep stairs and low ceiling heights on the second floor, and was extremely uncomfortable, due to the lack of insulation and air sealing.

    After a review of the existing home, the solution was simple: The whole thing had to go. But getting the job done was not as easy. Located in the historic York Neighborhood, where most homes were built between 1890 and 1910, any new structure needed to blend in with its elders. 

    "The owners wanted a house that was more modern in performance but wouldn't stand out against the neighboring buildings," says Dan Welch, founder of architecture firm [bundle] design studio. "Although the house has a more contemporary appearance and layout than its neighbors, using the historic massing makes the new house fit seamlessly into the existing fabric of the neighborhood."

    Nicole Kimberling, the home's co-owner, agrees. The concept was to design a net-zero, passive-style house "where we could age in place on the same lot where we had already lived for 20 years," she notes.

    The existing early 20th Century structure was replaced by a two-story, two-bedroom, 1,275-square-foot unit, which serves as a home and business location for Kimberling and co-owner Dawn Kimberling. There is also a 450-square-foot accessory dwelling unit (ADU) studio that is currently a rental, but will eventually become a retirement home once the Kimberlings choose to retire, according to Nicole Kimberling.

    They're already planning ahead. To accommodate mobility needs that accompany growing older, the house was designed with a discreet ramp. Meanwhile, the studio incorporates ADA features such as a curbless shower, wet room style bathroom, a full kitchen and on-site laundry.

    Continue reading in the eJournal

    Macie Melendez
    Editor in Chief, Building Performance eJournal
    Building Performance Association
    Moon Township PA