A Passive House is built on stilts

house side
© Juri Troy Architects

Passivhaus, or passive house design demands a lot of insulation, so at first it seems counter-intuitive to put a passivhaus on stilts and have yet another surface exposed to the elements. In fact, passive houses are so well insulated that they often have as much as 14 inches of foam under the slab. If you don't like plastic foam insulation and want to use a greener product, it actually makes sense to put the whole thing up in the air. There's also that thing we keep talking about on TreeHugger about treading lightly on the ground.

Juri Troy Architects designed the House under the Oaks to be "a low budget passive house concept developed for an Austrian family." Like so many Passivhaus designs, it is a simple box, since every jog or corner is a thermal complication.

The architect writes:

With a minimum footprint and a wide outstretching wooden box on six columns it offers a living area of about 100 m2. The whole structure was done in prefabricated timber with all ecological wood wool insulation of up to 60 cm. The interior is done all in local wood as well with a simple white pigmented oil cover.

A heat pump with ground collector, a controlled ventilation system with heat exchange and photovoltaic panels on the roof offer a perfect energy concept with a minimum of required external energy – which is provided by eco electricity.

It's a nice simple plan, nicely proportioned, not too big, and built on stilts, which eliminates a lot of concrete and plastic foam. Nicely done by Juri Troy Architects.

A Passive House is built on stilts
Basements and foundations are usually made of concrete and insulated with plastic foam. Being built on stilts gets rid of a lot of those problematic materials.

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