ARC 404: Passive House Prototype Design

Previous Program Works. Small Built Works Program 

The focus of this Class will be completing the development of a Prototype 100-year accessible Passive House using materials with low embodied energy. Investigations will build on the 778sf House designed in the Fall Semester. 

There are several parts and tasks to this Course: 1) Developing innovative Passive House Details for all domestic Construction Systems of the 778 House; 2) Cost Analysis and Value Engineering of all proposed Construction Systems; 3) On-going Research into Passive House standards, goals, and methods; 3) Construction Observation and analysis of 91 Fuller, in Tonawanda, New York; the successful Permit Application was completed in the Spring of 2019, and it is slated for construction in the Spring of 2020, working with the Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation (BENLIC); 4) Fabricating prototype components in the Shop of selected Wall Sections and Details of the 778 House; 5) Morphing the 778 House Design for different solar orientations on different City Sites; 6) Creation of a set of Architectural Construction Documents for a Building Permit Application.

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.

The Small Built Works Program has been producing comprehensive besign-build work in the Buffalo community since 2001. In the Spring of 2005, the series of work to-date won the NCARB Grand Prize for the creative integration of education and practice. In order to tackle projects with larger ambitions than can be completed in one semester, Small Built Works has always ‘rolled over’ projects from one semester to the next; this semester continues the work of SUN_FOOD WATER, in conjunction with the BUS. 


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.
Clinical Assistant Professor - Department of Architecture - 137 Diefendorf Hall - (716) 829-5928

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