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High-Performance Foursquare


This reinterpretation of the classic American Foursquare brings space planning for modern family living and 21st-c. energy efficiency, materials, and technology. The home is a right-sized Passive House (seeking PHIUS+ certification) designed to be healthy, efficient, affordable, and fit to its neighborhood. As a Passive House, it uses only a tenth of the heating and cooling energy of a built-to-code home, and about 65% less energy overall; it is also designed to be Zero Energy Ready, meaning that with the addition of a solar electric array, the house can produce as much energy as it uses. Indoor air quality and occupant health are a primary objective as well, so no-added-formaldehyde panel materials, no-VOC, non-toxic paints, and Greenguard certified sealants, caulks, and adhesives were used along with a continuous demand-controlled ventilation system to provide superior air quality.
The site in Hinsdale, IL, outside of Chicago, is small, with large zoning setbacks, so the space planning was crucial to bringing a good layout together with high performance. This house for a family of six packs a lot into a small package: although only 2,000s.f. above grade (2,350s.f. interior conditioned floor area including basement), it has five bedrooms, 3.1 baths, an office, a walk-in pantry, and a rec room on top of the open living spaces. Outside the thermal envelope is a 2-car garage and mudroom. This house is pre-certified Passive House (PHIUS+2015.)