Passive House Meets Pueblo
Three projects by a Santa Fe architect demonstrate how well this performance standard and the Southwest style work together.
Synopsis: In this article, Andrew Michler presents three Passive Houses he built in the Southwest United States and how they seamlessly fit the style of the local New Mexican architecture. Using the Passive House focus on energy conservation as a cost-effective approach to efficiency, Michler turned his attention to the envelope of each home, particularly the insulation and air-sealing details and how these would create energy-efficient air and vapor barriers. For as little as $175 per square foot, Michler built the Balance Project, the Taos House, and the Olsen House, incorporating the New Mexican style of thick, adobe-brick walls into his Passive House envelope-first approach.
Northern New Mexico has one of the oldest design traditions in the United States. A mix of cultures intersecting for the past 500 years has led to distinctive architecture that speaks as much to the arid Southwest region as it does the people who live there.…