This Net-Zero New York Passive House Teaches its Community to Build Green

This Net-Zero New York Passive House Teaches its Community to Build Green

By Grace Miller
This uber-green dwelling not only walks the walk, it talks the talk.

Designed by North River Architecture & Planning (NRAP) for their Senior Designer, Peter Reynolds, the Accord Passive House is a beacon of sustainable design. The comfortable, affordable, and low-maintenance family home achieved certification from the Passive House Institute US, and it’s topped with a 9kW photovoltaic array that produces more energy annually than the building requires.

An abundance of south-facing windows connect the double-height living room to the outdoors.

The fabric wall art and pillows in the living room are by Designwork, a zero-waste textile project crafted from recycled Eileen Fisher clothing.

To aid in public awareness, NRAP invited other architecture firms and neighbors to tour the house during construction, teaching the community how to build a green home with high standards for airtightness, insulation, and construction quality.

"Our goal is ultimately to demonstrate the accessibility and affordability of Passive House design," explains Reynolds, "and to dispel the myths and misconceptions about the process to those who are considering renovating or building their own Passive House."

The white oak millwork finishes throughout the rooms are repurposed from ceiling slats to offer a warm counterpoint to the concrete slab floor. The dining table is by Hudson Workshop, and the matte black chairs are by Allermuir.

Large sliding pocket doors provide rooms with privacy while maintaining an open plan, maximizing flexibility in the space.

Shop the Look
Ben Soleimani Trenza Grey Rug
Using a refined braiding technique, master artisans alternate chunky plaits with slim twists to create this richly textured natural rug. Soft wool and silky fibers have a beautiful luster and provide a lush feeling underfoot.
Gloster Loop Lounge Chair
Natural finish teak frame with sling seat. Outdoor strap & back panel. Upholstered outdoor fabric seat & back cushions. Designed by Henrik Pedersen.
IKEA MARTIN Chair
You can stack the chairs, so they take less space when you're not using them. The self-adjusting plastic feet adds stability to the chair.

The kitchen is open to the living area, and the guest bedroom can be seen beyond. The picnic table is by Hudson Workshop, and the bright-red light fixture is by Santa & Cole.

A guest room off the kitchen, provides shared light to both spaces.

The secluded location of the house at the edge of a retired shale bank allows the luxury of an open outdoor shower. Corrugated steel siding provides a durable, zero-maintenance exterior finish and captures the changing sun and woodland shadows.

The master bathroom uses plastered shower walls and a large window to maintain a simple, direct rapport with the outdoors.

A glimpse into the main bedroom at the end of the day. Windows on the south facade are oversized for solar gains, views, and a robust indoor/outdoor connection.

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