Passive House by South Dakota State University

The South Dakota State University Department of Architecture’s Passive House project was recently featured in Dezeen.

When the South Dakota State University Department of Architecture’s Passive House project was completed in fall 2018, the uniqueness of the student-designed project received awards and attention. The house’s collection of awards has grown after adding two—an honor award and a president’s award—from American Institute of Architecture South Dakota in fall 2019 as well as the Best Project by a Young Professional from the Passive House Institute U.S., a national award, in December. “The recent attention has been encouraging,” said Robert Arlt, an instructor in SDSU’s Department of Architecture and one of the faculty leaders of the project. “For everyone who worked on the project, it kind of seems like it just finished. I’m happy and thankful the house is making the rounds for recognition.”

“In a state that will not adopt energy codes, the design responds to showcase and demonstrate sustainable development to the region’s public, contractors, and building officials through site selection, systems and assemblies,” the team said. The group obtained a housing grant from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to design the project to meet standards set by the Passive House Institute.

According to the team, the 2,000 square-foot house is also the first in the area to produce more energy than it consumes. Energy-saving and environmentally friendly details include photovoltaic panels installed on the roof to generate energy, a built-in water heater with a more efficient heat pump and quadruple glazed windows. There is also a Zehnder HRV (Healthy Climate Heat Recovery Ventilation) ventilation system, which uses the heat of the stale air that is leaving the house to warm up the fresh air entering to reduce energy loss.

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