The Stevenson School Passive House Project

Architects Mary Griffin and Jerome Christensen speced dark shingles for the exterior to belnd into the trees and shadows of the wooded site.

The double-height window bays helped mitigate the scale of the duplex. “The single bay allows the structure to read as one large house,” Christensen clarifies, “but it also articulates the middle of the duplex and breaks up the wall.”

The entries flank the bay and are situated on the side façades for added privacy as well as to disguise the fact that this is two residences.

"To stay within budget we avoided expensive interior materials and details in order to include agenerously sized kitchen,” Christensen says of the large, airy kitchen, adding that even the honed granite countertop was economical.

The kitchen opens directly onto a stone terrace, which is secluded behind a natural wood fence and is adjacent to the front entry as well.

Twin garages connected by a shared access road stand on either side of the duplex. What normally would be the back of the house is actually the front elevation just off the main road leading to the main campus.

This prototype is the first of five planned faculty duplexes.

"We did build in flex space in the form of the lower level bedroom," Christensen says of the first floor layout. "The programmatic intent was that this could serve as a separate unit which could house up to two students who for whatever reason may need additional adult supervision in the form of the faculty family living in that unit. In other instances it can be used as either an office or a fourth bedroom if needed."

The bedrooms on the second floor are designed to offer maximum privacy should multiple faculty members be sharing the same unit.

This detail drawing shows some of the passive heating and cooling principles at work in the house.

Tight seals, abundant insulation, and highly efficient systems keep energy usage and costs at a minimum.

The widest part of the house flanked by twin garages presents a stately facade to the rest of the campus while blending with the scale of the school buildings as well as the dark hues of the wooded site.

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