This year’s project marks the sixth residence built in Kansas City, KS by Studio 804 and has posed some interesting challenges. In light of the country’s current economic situation, affordability has become a crucial issue in American housing, and thus something we are taking very seriously. In pursuing sustainability, cost is often a prohibiting factor, pushing us towards a focus on passive design strategies. In addition to pursuing LEED Platinum Certification, Studio 804 aims to achieve Passive House Certification this year as well. A system that began in Germany, Passive House seeks to reduce building energy consumption for heating and cooling by 90%. The heating load is drastically reduced by means of a super-insulated, virtually airtight building shell, broad Southern exposure and an energy recovery ventilator that provides constant fresh air and even distribution of heat.
In addition, we are addressing affordability in a very direct way by targeting an eventual homeowner earning 80% or lower of the area median income (AMI). We are working with Community Housing of Wyandotte County (CHWC), and the Prescott Neighborhood Group (PNG) in order to interact directly with the community in which we are working.