ARC 448/548: Passive House Prototype Design

Construction Documents for the Tonawanda 91 Fuller House to be built in the Fall of 2019 with the Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation, and a class rendering of the baseline design that will become the basis of the new prototype investigation.

Photo credit: Brad Wales, R.A.

This class will design a Prototype 100-year Passive House using green materials with low embodied energy. Investigations will build on the model of the Butterfly House, one of five Affordable House Prototypes--ranging in size from 250-to-1,226 square feet--developed in the past three semesters of Sun_Food_Water.

This course includes: 1) Re-design of the Butterfly House to Passive House standards; 2) Research into Passive House standards, goals, and methods; 3) Developing innovative Passive House Details for all domestic Construction Systems; 3) Construction analysis of 91 Fuller, in Tonawanda, New York; the permit application was completed in the Spring of 2019, and it is slated for construction in the Fall of 2019, working with Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation (BENLIC); 4) Cost Analysis and Value Engineering of all proposed Construction Systems; 5) Morphing the Design(s) for different solar orientations on City Sites; 6) Creation of a set of Architectural Construction Documents for the new Passive House Prototype.


Clinical Assistant Professor - Department of Architecture - 137 Diefendorf Hall - (716) 829-5928
Nicholas B. Rajkovich, assistant professor of architecture, investigates the intersection of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and adaptation to climate change. He directs UB's Resilient Buildings Lab.

This work is part of an on-going effort by the School of Architecture and Planning, begun in the Spring of 2017, in exploring possibilities in Affordable House/Housing Design. Affordability has been defined based on lowering monthly costs for high integrity, sustainable design outcomes. The Buffalo Urban Studio (BUS) will be formed to create partnerships within the Buffalo community to facilitate design and construction of sustainable Affordable House/Housing Units in the City. This semester, we will be working with BENLIC and PUSH Buffalo.

The Small Built Works Program has produced conceptual design-build projects in diverse communities throughout Buffalo since 2001. In 2005, the series of works to-date won the National Council of Architectural Registration Board’s (NCARB) Grand Prize for the creative integration of education and practice.