Seattle New Home Builder Hammer & Hand Announces New Project Harnessing Efficiency of Passivhaus and Retaining Neighborhood Aesthetic

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Seattle new home building project melds traditional design and high performance.

Rendering of the Maple Leaf Passivhaus (courtesy of Whitney Architecture)

"Many Passive Houses model a more modern style but they don't have to. We can build a Passive House to whatever style the client wants."

Seattle home builder Hammer & Hand announced today the start of its Maple Leaf Passive House Project. Designed by Whitney Architecture and built by Hammer & Hand, the Passivhaus (aka Passive House) new home building project aims to harness cutting-edge building science knowledge and energy modeling to achieve revolutionary gains in energy performance using existing, straight-forward technologies.

“We’re excited to get this project underway,” said Whitmore. “The client is really enthusiastic to have a Passiv Haus and is very committed to understanding the environmental and economic impact of Passive House structures.”

Passivhaus design and construction is all about flexibility. Nothing, apart from its three performance metrics, is prescribed. As long as the building hits the mark for air tightness, heating demand/load, and primary energy use, any architectural style okay.

“The client was very clear that he wanted a tradition style building that reflected the character of the existing homes in the neighborhood,” explained Hammer & Hand project supervisor Dan Whitmore. “Many Passive Houses model a more modern style but they don’t have to. We can build a Passive House to whatever style the client wants.”

The 1,920 square foot, two-story house will house a glass studio and workshop on the first floor and a 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment on the second, which the client plans to rent out.

“Designing for convertibility was key to the project because in the future the two floors might become a single unit,” said Markus Barrera-Kolb of Whitney Architecture. “That presented some challenges because we’re fitting a lot of program into a compact footprint. But it came together nicely.”

Learn more about Seattle home building services by visiting Hammer & Hand’s website at (

About Hammer & Hand

Hammer & Hand is dedicated to stewardship of the built environment through craft and science, everything from home remodeling to deep energy retrofits to modernist Passive House structures.

Hammer And Hand – Portland: 1020 Southeast Harrison Street, Portland, OR 97214-4709 | (503) 232-2447
Hammer And Hand – Seattle: 1501 E Madison St #250, Seattle, WA 98122 | (206) 397-0558

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Zack Semke
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