Location: Amherst, MA
Size: 1,000 sf
Completed: 2013
Architect / Designer: GO Logic

Located in Amherst, MA, Potwine Passive House is the result of a collaborative design process between GO Logic and a professor of physics, who sought to create a home that is great to live in and would double as a teaching tool for his students. Demonstrating that a highly efficient house can be heated by the sun and powered with solar panels, the 1,000 square foot residence was certified as a Passive House in September 2015.

The physics of energy conservation is brought to life in this bright yellow home, which serves as an example of how we can reduce energy demand to a point where only a small amount is needed to power a home. The professor’s goal was to create a home that does not require fossil fuels to provide heating, cooling, and electricity for everyday life, and is made net zero on an annual basis with the addition of a small solar electric array.

The assembly features a 2×6 timber frame externally insulated with polystyrene panels, a timber roof truss with cellulose, and an insulated concrete floor slab with polystyrene insulation board. Zehnder ComfoAir provides ventilation and heat recovery with heat pumps providing internal heating and cooling.

Air Tightness:
n50 = 0.5/h
Annual heating demand:
14 kWh /(m2a )
Heating load:
13 W/m2
Primary energy requirement:
117 kWh /(m2a )