top of page

House for a Writer in Bohemia





This House achieves the challenging performance requirements of a German Passivhaus, and exceeds LEED Platinum.


Energy Conservation

The existing masonry (sandstone and brick) was preserved. New materials were selected for their low carbon footprints and longevity (locally harvested timber, bamboo flooring, white aluminum).  High efficiency building systems recycle and retain heat energy.  

People and Community

In a dense rural context, the House re-interprets the traditional stone and timber house, and translates it into modern form.  Local artisans contracted to build the timber construction employed traditional techniques.  The identity of the House is Old yet New. Views from the modern interior to the sky and garden underscore the rural context. 


The House is oriented South and West for natural daylighting and cross-ventilation.  Clean indoor air is maintained by HRV technology.  Roof runoff is directed underground to the garden which has semi-permeable materials.  The House is less than a 1/4 mile from local and regional rail transit.

Passive Technology

In winter, solar energy warms the Northern wall which acts as a passive thermal mass.  Radiant heating will transfer heat passively to the other masonry walls.  The House has: an airtight envelope with low heat loss (less than .15W/m2K), electrical on-demand hot water, triple glazing.

Innovative Technology

New wall assemblies are open to both sides, have low permeability, are without thermal bridges, and are insulated with hydrophobic insulation.  Natural and forced air circulation on both sides prevent the settling of moisture within the assembly.  


Combining the old and the new is cost effective and enhances the quality of life of its resident. The house is highly marketable at a low cost ($115/sf).


The wall section and energy diagrams below show that the House is built to perform well in its cold climate, and offer exceptional environmental comfort to its resident.  


bottom of page