Dennis Wedlick Architect LLC Designs First Passive House in NY State

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BASF’s Neopor® insulation enables award-winning firm design a home that uses 90% less heating/cooling energy

A departure from the modern Passive House aesthetic, Wedlick’s goal was to design a high-performance home with the rustic charm of a country barn. Photo by Elliott Kaufman.

BASF's insulation material Neopor® (expandable polystyrene: EPS) is featured in the first certified Passive House in New York State. Designed by Dennis Wedlick Architect, LLC (DWA), the three-bedroom The Hudson Passive Project is one of the most energy-efficient homes in the country, and the first in New York State to achieve the demanding standard established by the Passive House Institute®, Germany. The Passive House Institute has compiled data that compares the energy ratings of different types of homes. That data shows that by adhering to the Passive House design standards, a 90% decrease in energy consumption can be achieved.

A European innovation of the late twentieth century, the mission of the Passive House Institute is to build thoughtfully designed homes with seamless building envelopes that minimize energy waste and heating costs without compromising comfort. A building envelope separates the interior and exterior of a building. The Hudson Passive Project achieved Passive House standards without auxiliary technology like photovoltaics, wind turbines, or solar thermal hot water systems.

Design innovations for the project included a daylighting strategy that incorporated skylighting and south-facing windows coupled with a high- performance building envelope. To design a house that has near zero energy consumption without the use of auxiliary technology, DWA needed to not only incorporate these design innovations but also needed to find an insulation that could achieve an insulating value of R-50 and R-60 for the foundation. These criteria were essential to allow the home to use solar heat as well as recapture the heat produced by appliances.

To achieve these insulating values, DWA specified energy-efficient Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) from Timberline Panel Company, Cambridge, NY optimized with insulation panels, provided by Opco, using Neopor beads supplied by BASF Corporation. Neopor stands apart from traditional EPS because it contains graphite particles that reflect and absorb thermal radiation. Use of this unique material minimizes heat loss by improving insulation capacity. The use of EPS raw material can be reduced by up to 50% to achieve the same insulation performance as conventional panels made of EPS. SIPs with a Neopor core can be up to 20% thinner than those with a core of conventional EPS.

“The exceptional R-value performance of Neopor means that architects, system suppliers and builders can go far beyond what was thought to be possible, and in a very cost-effective and sustainable way,” said Aaron Wood, BASF’s North American Marketing Manager for the Global Foams Business.

Other Passive Houses enhanced with Neopor include:

  •     La Clairière, a 13-unit marriage of energy efficiency and affordability, is the first passive public housing structure in France.
  •     Located in Rothenburg, the first Passive Certified multiple-dwelling complex in Switzerland is comprised of three loft houses and four villettes.
  •     An external thermal insulation composite system (ETICS) made with Neopor allowed builders of a Weinheim, Germany passive duplex to forgo interior insulation and make exposed wood walls a design feature.

To learn more about Neopor, visit http://www.neopor.basf.us.
To learn about BASF’s solutions for sustainable construction, please visit http://www.basf.us/construction.

About Dennis Wedlick Architect, LLC
Dennis Wedlick Architect, LLC (DWA) was founded in 1992 by Dennis Wedlick. The firm has received national recognition for creating original and affordable projects that blend traditional references with the unexpected. DWA is renowned for the highest quality of service: program development, budget and cost analysis, design and documentation, and contract administration. DWA is a member of the United States Green Building Council and has both Passive House Certified Consultants and LEED™ accredited professionals on staff. The firm is based in Lower Manhattan.

About BASF

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has approximately 16,400 employees in North America, and had sales of $17.7 billion in 2010. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit http://www.basf.us.

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, and agricultural products to oil and gas. As a reliable partner, BASF creates chemistry to help its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges, such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF posted sales of more than €63.9 billion in 2010 and had approximately 109,000 employees as of the end of the year. Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at http://www.basf.com or in the Social Media Newsroom at newsroom.basf.com.

Neopor® is a registered trademark of BASF Corporation
LEED™ is a trademark of the U.S. Green Building Council
Passive House Institute® is a registered trademark of Dr. Wolfgang Feist

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Susan Jackson
BASF Corporation
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