Architecture Firm Embraces Passive House Approach to Design

Originally published by: Richland SourceFebruary 19, 2018

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A Mansfield-based architecture firm announced this week it has expanded its services to include passive house designing, which focuses on minimizing ecological footprint through high energy efficiency.

1618-4CD2-SE-Final_1.jpg"We are excited to bring Passive House design strategies and certification to the area. As one of only a handful of certified consultants, we feel Passive House compliments the services we are already providing and has already provided opportunities to grow our business,” said owner and principal architect of FiELD9: architecture, Matthew Stanfield.

He became certified as a Passive House Consultant through the Passive House Institute U.S. in June 2017, and is now designing a home in Freedom, Pennsylvania that will be built to Passive House standards.

Passive House is a design strategy that is first and foremost concerned with occupant comfort and health. It achieves maximum comfort through the integration of the building envelope and systems.

In doing so, it can accomplish up to an 80-percent reduction in energy consumption over code compliant building by employing five basic tenants: continuous insulation, air tightness, optimizing solar gains, heat recovery ventilation for good indoor air quality and right sizing heating and cooling systems.

Passive House construction techniques were first developed in Canada during the 1970s. It soon fell out of favor in North America but has been further developed in Germany by the Passive Haus Institute for that specific climate.

The Passive House Institute US has worked with the Department of Energy to establish a Passive House standard that is more adaptable to the wide range of climates we have in the United States. Of the two certifying organizations, they are the only one that uses this climate specific standard.

PHIUS, where Stanfield learned about Passive House designs, provides certification for designers, builders, inspectors, and buildings. They are an independent non-profit organization.

FiELD9: architecture is a full-service architecture firm located in Mansfield. It prides itself in poviding community-minded architecture with a modern sensibility and an eye towards sustainability in north central Ohio. It was founded in 2010.

FiELD9: architecture has recently completed projects for the Richland School of Academic Arts and the City of Mansfield parks department. They are currently working on designs for new bell tower and expanded entry for Resurrection Parish in Lexington.