General Process

It was clear early in the design process that Passive House Certification was a primary goal for the project team and owners. As such, the Hollands & Hutker Architects attended a four (4) hour workshop facilitated by Mike Duclos at the 2014 JLC Live Conference in Providence, RI to ensure an understanding of the considerable challenges and significance of a Passive House project. This event was a wonderful team building exercise and provided the encouragement and inspiration to move the project forward and engage the remainder of the primary project team, including Mike Duclos of DEAP Energy Group and Energy Efficiency Associates. Mike Duclos, the Certified Passive House Consultant responsible for the energy design features, testing, remediation and commissioning of the Falmouth Passive House, the second certified in Massachusetts, worked closely with Hutker Architects during the design development phase, evaluating performance trade-offs in all major building assemblies, assessing mechanical system options and specifying the renewable energy strategies (in that order) to optimize the ‘house as a system’ design. Mike provided the Hutker Architects with a custom UA based spreadsheet calculator for conducted heat loss calculations to facilitate the selection and quantification of insulation for various building assemblies, by facilitating ‘design space exploration’ of trader-offs among opaque and glazed assemblies, shell performance, and size in the context of a simple heat loss model targeting a reasonable starting point with respect to space heat demand.
Mike Duclos constructed a PHPP model and worked with the Hutker Architects to further refine the starting point in the context of solar gains, shading, ventilation and DHW system layout, etc. to meet the Passive House space heating, cooling and primary energy criteria, with the builder Farley Pedler engaged in the process early on.

Design for Adaptability:

The residence is designed to allow the homeowners to 'age in place', providing flexibility for the first floor family room, to transition into a master suite.
Flat roof portions of the home & garage are designed to provide the opportunity to introduce additional solar arrays, and roof gardens.

The approach of providing the simple UA calculator feedback to the architects is well worth considering for those without extensive PH design experience. This could also be expanded into a 'PHPP Lite' which allows feedback to include solar gains and shading providing an educational opportunity, as well as a design loop iteration and time reduction.

Software Tools

Software Tools:
General modeling information:

Simple custom designed UA calculator
PHPP Version 8.5

Lessons Learned

Outcome of project goals:

Certified Passive House (Passive House Academy)
LEED Platinum.
Tier III MA New Construction Program
This is a Mass New Construction Tier III home.
This home was awarded a DOER Zero Net Energy Building grant application.
Zero Net Energy operation remains to be measured.


Actual energy use data are not yet available