Architect Marie Ljubojevic's careful orientation takes advantage of solar heat gain in the winter and natural ventilation in the summer.

Photos: Joe Bianco

Architect Marie Ljubojevic's careful orientation takes advantage of solar heat gain in the winter and natural ventilation in the summer.


Architect Marie Ljubojevic's careful orientation takes advantage of solar heat gain in the winter and natural ventilation in the summer.

Park Passive, Seattle

  • Architect Marie Ljubojevic's careful orientation takes advantage of solar heat gain in the winter and natural ventilation in the summer.

    http://www.builderonline.com/Images/NKArchitects_ParkPassive_hero_tcm138-2076554.jpg?width=900

    true

    900

    Architect Marie Ljubojevic's careful orientation takes advantage of solar heat gain in the winter and natural ventilation in the summer.

    Joe Bianco

    Architect Marie Ljubojevic's careful orientation takes advantage of solar heat gain in the winter and natural ventilation in the summer.
  • http://www.builderonline.com/Images/NKArchitects_Park-Passive13_tcm138-2076555.jpg?width=910

    true

    910

    North-South Section

    NK Architects

    North-South Section
  • http://www.builderonline.com/Images/NKArchitects_ParkPassive01_tcm138-2076556.jpg?width=2000

    true

    2000

    The jury was impressed that the project achieved Passive House certification in a cloudy location such as Seattle. "They were limited in terms of the amount of glass they could include and they've used it judiciously to create great indoor and outdoor spaces," the judges said.

    Joe Bianco

    The jury was impressed that the project achieved Passive House certification in a cloudy location such as Seattle. "They were limited in terms of the amount of glass they could include and they've used it judiciously to create great indoor and outdoor spaces," the judges said.
  • http://www.builderonline.com/Images/NKArchitects_ParkPassive02_tcm138-2076557.jpg?width=2000

    true

    2000

    Architect Marie Ljubojevic's careful orientation takes advantage of solar heat gain in the winter and natural ventilation in the summer.

    Joe Bianco

    Architect Marie Ljubojevic's careful orientation takes advantage of solar heat gain in the winter and natural ventilation in the summer.
  • http://www.builderonline.com/Images/NKArchitects_ParkPassive03_tcm138-2076558.jpg?width=2000

    true

    2000

    Luxurious touches in the kitchen include bamboo strand flooring, an induction cooktop, and custom cabinetry.

    Joe Bianco

    Luxurious touches in the kitchen include bamboo strand flooring, an induction cooktop, and custom cabinetry.
  • http://www.builderonline.com/Images/NKArchitects_ParkPassive04_tcm138-2076559.jpg?width=1585

    true

    1585

    Trees removed from the lot were salvaged for stair treads, wall paneling, and a live-edge bathroom countertop.

    Joe Bianco

    Trees removed from the lot were salvaged for stair treads, wall paneling, and a live-edge bathroom countertop.
  • http://www.builderonline.com/Images/NKArchitects_ParkPassive05_tcm138-2076560.jpg?width=1607

    true

    1607

    Well-placed windows let in natural light and views.

    Joe Bianco

    Well-placed windows let in natural light and views.
  • http://www.builderonline.com/Images/NKArchitects_ParkPassive06_tcm138-2076561.jpg?width=2000

    true

    2000

    The living room looks out onto the backyard patio.

    Joe Bianco

    The living room looks out onto the backyard patio.
  • http://www.builderonline.com/Images/NKArchitects_ParkPassive07_tcm138-2076562.jpg?width=1590

    true

    1590

    Daylight flows through the open stair treads, which were created out of a tree salvaged from the yard.

    Joe Bianco

    Daylight flows through the open stair treads, which were created out of a tree salvaged from the yard.
  • http://www.builderonline.com/Images/NKArchitects_ParkPassive08_tcm138-2076563.jpg?width=1587

    true

    1587

    With three interior levels and a roof deck, the 2,710-square-foot house holds four bedrooms and three bathrooms.

    Joe Bianco

    With three interior levels and a roof deck, the 2,710-square-foot house holds four bedrooms and three bathrooms.
  • http://www.builderonline.com/Images/NKArchitects_ParkPassive09_tcm138-2076564.jpg?width=1211

    true

    1211

    The site plan

    NK Architects

    The site plan
  • http://www.builderonline.com/Images/NKArchitects_ParkPassive10_tcm138-2076565.jpg?width=906

    true

    906

    Level One Floor Plan

    NK Architects

    Level One Floor Plan
  • http://www.builderonline.com/Images/NKArchitects_ParkPassive11_tcm138-2076566.jpg?width=908

    true

    908

    Roof Plan and Level Three Floor Plan

    NK Architects

    Roof Plan and Level Three Floor Plan
  • http://www.builderonline.com/Images/NKArchitects_ParkPassive12_tcm138-2076567.jpg?width=911

    true

    911

    East-West Section

    NK Architects

    East-West Section
  • http://www.builderonline.com/Images/NKArchitects_ParkPassive14_tcm138-2076568.jpg?width=1164

    true

    1164

    North South Section

    NK Architects

    North South Section
The judges called Park Passive “the epitome of green and also a really cool house.” They were wowed as much by its ultra-insulated building shell as by its good looks and luxury finishes. Using 90 percent less energy for heating and cooling than a traditional home, the Passive House–certified structure is a comfortable 69 degrees for most of the year without any mechanical interventions. Ultra-insulated walls and roof (filled with 16 inches and 20 inches of blown-in fiberglass, respectively) and high-density spray foam under the slab-on-grade foundation help keep interiors a constant temperature. A Mitsubishi mini-split heat pump kicks in on exceptionally hot or cold days.

The jury also was impressed with the amount of living space that architect Marie Ljubojevic eked out of the 2,000-square-foot infill lot, which is closely bordered by a neighboring home on the south. The tricky layout was complicated by Passive House requirements that call for minimal glazing on the north side and 16-inch-thick walls.

“In the instance of this house, most of the challenges faced for building a Passive House were related to the lot size and location with another home near the southern lot line,” explains builder Sloan Ritchie of Cascade Built in Seattle. “In addition to the small, shallow floor plate and zoning requirements to work within the existing house’s form, Passive House requirements minimized glazing on the house’s north side, where windows would have been intuitively placed, and required 16-inch-thick walls.”

The project’s design challenges led the team to creative solutions, says Ritchie, including the double-height vaulted kitchen connecting the main living area to an upstairs play area, a daylit open stair punctuated with views to the street, a nook for a window bench, and flared bay windows on the front façade. Ljubojevic incorporated four bedrooms and three bathrooms into the three-level-plus-roof-deck plan, with interior finishes that showcase the use of wood from a site-salvaged tree for stair treads, wall paneling, and a bathroom countertop.

Additional sustainable features include heat pump hot water, no-VOC finishes, a heat recovery ventilator, high-performance windows, and pre-wiring for solar.

ON SITE

Because the Passive House–certified dwelling is so tightly built, it requires mechanical ventilation to keep the indoor air healthy and comfortable. Builder Sloan Ritchie installed a Zehnder heat recovery ventilator to pull in fresh air and work in conjunction with the Mitsubishi mini-split HVAC system to reduce heating and cooling requirements.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Seattle, WA.