Top 5 Energy-Efficient Homes of the Week

These designers are leading the charge toward a greener, more-environmentally friendly future. Take a look at the homes from the Dwell community that caught our editor’s eye this week.

Featured homes were submitted by members of the Dwell community through our Add a Home feature. Add your home to today.

1. First Passive House Plus in the U.S.

Baxt Ingui Architects installed expansive windows that fill the home with natural light. Sliding doors provide seamless flow between the indoor and outdoor spaces.

Architect: Baxt Ingui Architects, Location: New York, New York

From the window company: "[The project] included a rehabilitation of a townhouse built in the early 1900s. It was revitalized by New York–based studio Baxt Ingui, who respected the original historical architecture of the main building and restored the front facade, while adding a new third floor with a mansard and a modern rear addition whose size rivals the existing home. Being a passive house plus allows the project to perform incredibly well, while saving 80% to 90% of the energy needed to heat and cool the building. Additional passive house attributes include an energy recovery ventilation system, which is filtered and makes for a healthier home, an incredibly quiet indoor environment, and, due to the well-sealed nature of the construction, a relatively bug- and critter-free environment."

2. Accord, NY Passive House

North River Architecture & Planning installed a nine-kilowatt solar array to achieve net-zero energy. Shading from overhangs and red oak trees was carefully modeled into the passive house's design.

Architect: North River Architecture & Planning, PC, Location: Accord, New York

From the architect: "This 1,730-square-foot single-family residence achieved PHIUS+ certification. While passive house certification is becoming a recognizable guarantee of radically lower energy use, perhaps of equal importance to our clients are the other features: the home is healthy, comfortable, and low-maintenance. Designed for our senior designer, Peter Reynolds, the house also has a nine-kilowatt photovoltaic array on roof, making this a net-zero building capable of producing more energy annually than it requires."

3. Wallingford Passive Solar House

"Framed in exposed steel with expansive windows, the Wallingford Passive Solar House capitalizes on exterior views and shifting patterns of light to establish a dialogue with its surroundings, leading to a physical awareness of the sun’s movement throughout the day and the seasons,’ says Wyant Architecture.

Architect: Wyant Architecture, Location: Nether Providence Township, Pennsylvania

From the architect: "Composed of a cluster of volumes, marked prominently by a gabled roof form, the Wallingford Passive Solar House combines modern architecture, environmental responsibility, and a flexible open floor plan that fosters ample opportunities for a young family to connect with the outdoors and with each other. Environmental responsibility extends from the architectural design to the site, where a complex underground storm water retention system collects rainwater runoff and slowly filters it back into the landscape."

4. Koser II

The broodingly dark exterior of Koser II by Neumann Monson Architects hides welcoming interior and outdoor spaces. The property "absorbs roof and deck runoff through a sunken rain garden in the rear yard. The garden’s leafy vegetation and soft edges counterpoint the clean, crisply executed pool—around which the airy, cedar-clad house wraps."

Architect: Neumann Monson Architects, Location: Iowa City, Iowa

From the architect: "Pragmatic building strategies and an expressive palette bring zero-energy building performance to a walkable Iowa City neighborhood. Supplementing the radiant floor is a highly efficient, geothermal climate control system coupled to a horizontally bored loop beneath the parcel. When cooling the home, heat is rejected into the pool via a heat exchanger, further maximizing efficiency. Perched atop the roof, a 10.08-kilowatt photovoltaic array powers the mechanical system, car charging station, LED lighting, and Energy Star appliances."

5. The 10-Star Home

The 10-Star Home is a design collaboration between Clare Cousins Architects and The Sociable Weaver. The shapely exterior blends into the surrounding landscape.

Architects: The Sociable Weaver and Clare Cousins Architects, Location: Cape Paterson, Australia

From the architect: "The 10-Star Home is a stunning example of how sustainable can be beautiful, modern, functional, and affordable. With a 10-star energy rating, carbon positive accreditation, and design based on zero-waste and Building Biology philosophies, this home truly treads lightly on this planet. Beyond the beautiful and clever design, the 10-Star Home inspires a more sustainable lifestyle—organic waste created on-site during construction was used to start an active compost for use in the home’s edible garden, inspiring a lifestyle of growing your own food. The construction based on Building Biology principles also inspires a lifestyle that continues to keep the home healthy and non-toxic."

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