Out of the Ashes, Developer to Build Ultra Energy Efficient Home

by ARLnow.com October 20, 2010 at 1:47 pm 3,202 10 Comments

The Barcroft neighborhood is going to be the home of the Washington area’s second passive house.

Passive house is an ultra energy efficient building style that’s becoming increasingly popular in Europe. There are only about 20 passive houses in the United States.

The eco-friendly house will be built on the site of yesterday’s spectacular made-for-TV controlled burn exercise. The small, condemned and now-charred home currently on the site will be torn down. Construction is expected to begin around December 1 and wrap up in the spring.

The project is being done on spec by the Burke-based developer Kinsey Properties.

Roger Lin, a managing partner at the firm, says the house will raise the bar for efficiency in environmentally-conscious Arlington.

“It’s highest standard in terms of performance-based green buildings,” he said. “They’re popping up all over the country now.”

Lin said the only other passive house in the DC area is in Bethesda.

  • BallstonNOTBoston

    Can’t wait to see what’s these go on the market for ($)!!!

  • Lou

    Watch out Arlington. If you own an older less energy efficient house, the County Green Goons will send the fire department to burn it down so they can put up a new green one.

    I kid!

  • Burger

    –“They’re popping up all over the country now.”–

    how does less than 20 in the entire US equate to “popping up” all over the country?

  • al

    Good for you! I can’t wait to see it. What people don’t seem to understand is that if you have a house whose operation costs are very small you stand to save in the long run. There may be more upfront costs, but they pay off over the life of the house. Some upfront costs can pay themselves off in 18 months! Which means that for the rest of your 30 years of house payments, you have more money in your pocket.

  • Kinsey Properties

    Here’s a recent article on NYT about Passive House:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/26/business/energy-environment/26smart.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

    There are fewer than 13 but a few dozen in the pipeline. The listserv for Passive House builders/Architects/Designers have grown to about 400 in the U.S. currently. Each one of us is trying to build at least one in the next year or two. I think “popping up” all over the country may actually be an understatement.

    Thanks Al! You got it. The point is not some fancy hi-tech solution to generate more energy, it is to minimize usage. By designing this way, the heating and cooling loads are tiny. All the savings can be applied to buying all the extra insulation, which costs no money to operate! I hope for those two things to even out. There’s a reason it is being applied to fixed income housing. Habitat in D.C. is committed to building passive houses for all of their future projects. We are very excited.

    • Jezebel


  • Let’s Be Free

    Kinsey, how many houses have you built, green/passive or not?

    • Kinsey Properties

      We’ve done several renovations and built one new construction so far. We are the first to admit inexperience, which is why we engage very experienced architects, engineers and builders/contractors to help us.

  • bill

    Hey Al
    you are correct that some of these things migh be paid off in a short amount of time, but have you considered that some of the materials won’t last 30 years or 15 years. Some of the LEED materials being imposed start breaking down before some projects are even completed,lol
    Also if ou want to be efficient why build a house that is almost 3 times the size of the original house that was burned down.

    This green effect will die down with time its just another hype of our times.
    Its a new way for the construction business to squeze more money out of people.

  • Novanglus

    What did the emissions of the house fire do to the environment? Did anyone do an environmental impact study beforehand?


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