GO Home Takes the Passive House Approach to Prefab

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By Melissa Dalton
It can take as little as two weeks to build one.

For their first project together, architect Matthew O'Malia and carpenter-cum-building designer Alan Gibson built a Passive House in 2009. According to Custom Builder, that little red house, then called the GO Home, was the first Passive House to be certified in Maine and one of a dozen Passive Houses in the U.S. at the time. It would set the bar for the pair's ensuing years of practice via their design/build firm GO Logic, based in Belfast. Per their website: "Our baseline for every project is the Passive House standard of energy performance and indoor air quality." Now, GO Logic is making its high-designed, prefab Passive Houses available to a much wider market in New England.

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The GO Home line comes in a variety of sizes, from 600 to 2,500 square feet, and configurations. You can pick a model, add options like garages and covered porches, and choose fixtures and finishes from a pre-selected palette. The overall aesthetic, inside and out, is "crisp, rural-modern."  

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Thanks to the Passive House design and construction, the energy savings are pronounced: the GO Home saves 80 percent of the energy typically consumed by a conventional house. This is because every model contains the following: "An airtight, super-insulated building shell, ultra-high performance windows that collect free heat from the sun, and a heat-recovery ventilation system that supplies a constant flow of clean, fresh air." See their website for more information on customization and pricing.

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