The University of Kansas School of Architecture and Design’s Studio 804 program focuses on sustainable and affordable design, often in forgotten and blighted urban neighborhoods. The studio’s 2006 project, Modular 3 (featured in the September/October 2008 issue of Natural Home) featured passive solar design, a simple floor plan to maximize efficiency, and recycled, local, natural and sustainably sourced building materials.
Studio 804’s latest project, the Prescott Passive House in Kansas City, Kansas, takes green building to a new level. This home was the second of Studio 804's residences in the Kansas City area to earn LEED Platinum certification and the first home in the state to earn Passive House certification, the up-and-coming building standard in the United States that focuses on super insulation to reduce heating and cooling needs by 90 percent. The home’s 16-inch-thick walls, 22-inch-thick ceiling, triple-pane windows and airtight building envelope help keep heat in, while a four-inch concrete slab floor in the main living area acts as thermal mass, absorbing heat during the day and releasing it at night. An energy recovery ventilator exchanges stale indoor air with fresh outside air, helping the home to maintain a constant temperature. Inside the home, walls around the living spaces are open at the top, promoting better airflow throughout the home.
The home is located at 32 S. 16th St. in Kansas City, Kansas.