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Red Clay Passive


Single Family Residential
New Construction
3,500 SF
Kennett Square, PA

This project investigates the notion of a Shaker farmhouse in a contemporary, low carbon context. Like the barns that dot its agrarian landscape, the house is simple in shape, absent of ornament, and constrained in material expression. 

Its simple, vernacular form steps down with the sloped site and orients its long axis towards the south, maximizing solar exposure during winter months. Exemplifying a “New Carbon” architecture, this house and adjacent out building avoid the inconsistencies and waste of conventional ‘stick-built construction.’ Instead it uses an innovative, wood-fiber-based, panelized assembly system to streamline construction and minimize embodied carbon; all wall and roof components are prefabricated within seventy miles of the project site.



PHIUS+ Source Zero Energy (Database Listing)

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Home


U.S. EPA Indoor airPLUS Qualified Home

Building Metrics

Predicted Energy Use Intensity (pEUI): -1.87 kBtu/sf/yr

Home Energy Rating Score (HERS Index): -11

Airtightness (measured): 0.05 cfm/sf; 0.72 ACH50

Building Envelope

Slab On Grade: R-25

Below Grade Walls: R-25

Above Grade Walls: R-36

Roof: R-53

Windows: Average SHGC 0.5, average U-Value .14

Skylights: Average SHGC 0.19, U-Value 0.19

Building Systems

Power/Fuel Source(s): All electric

Renewable Energy: Solar PV array (8.76 kW system size) 

Heating & Cooling: Ground-source heat pump

Energy recovery ventilation

Domestic Hot Water: Heat-pump water heater

Appliances: Energy-Star

LED lighting

Modular (panelized) wood-fiber-based wall & roof assemblies

Project Team:

Builder: Hugh Lofting Timber Framing

Architect: Bright Common

Energy Verifier: DSB Energy 

Energy Modeler & Consultant: Holzraum (Ilka Cassidy)

Structural Engineer: CKS Structures

Prefabricated Assembly Provider: Blueprint Robotics

Prefabricated Assembly System: Holzraum 

Photography: Sam Oberter

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