Case Study: Prairie Passive

At 1850 square feet, Prairie Passive is an extremely energy efficient two bedroom, two bathroom home with a bonus space in the basement. Designed for aging in place and accessibility, the unique floor plan optimizes views of the harbor despite the narrow lot.

The architect, Tessa Smith is the co-founder of Artisans Group, an award winning Pacific Northwest Design-Build firm that are leading experts in the design and build of the revolutionary, highly sought after Passive-House. These truly advanced homes, made elegant by their creative design team, achieve outstanding energy savings and comfort without artistic compromise.

True to the prairie style, the form was kept low and friendly with hipped roofs and broad overhanging eaves. Ample day lighting is supplemented by architectural ceiling elements and skylights. Carefully placed windows and a screened outdoor entertaining area with gas fireplace, provide privacy and a place of refuge in the bustling public marina setting. The home is in the process of being professionally landscaped with native and drought-tolerant plants and additional hardscaping that will complete the integration of the home in its beautiful setting.

This ultra energy efficient home relies on extremely high levels of insulation, air-tight detailing and construction, and the implementation of high performance, custom made European windows and doors by Zola Windows.

Zola’s Thermo Wood line, which boasts R-11 triple glazing and is thermally broken with a layer of patented German Purenit®, was selected for the project.

Natural daylight enters both from the tilt & turn and fixed windows in the kitchen, living and dining areas, and through the terrace door that leads seamlessly outside to the natural landscape.

Designed and constructed by the Artisans Group out of Olympia, Washington – a small but mighty firm co-owned by Randy Foster and Tessa Smith. Fun, funky and innovative, The Artisans Group has designed and built more Passive Houses than any other firm on the West Coast. Known for their striking, award winning, and sensible work, they provide solutions for projects of any size and budget.

Photography by: Chris DiNottia