House Tour: Hudson Passive Project

For the conservation-minded architect Dennis Wedlick, the Hudson Passive Project is nothing short of revolutionary.

  1. The Hudson Passive Project

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    Hudson passive house peter aaron photographer exterior dusk

    ©Peter Aarons

    With its exterior stonework, timber frame, and pitched roof, the Hudson Passive Project in the Hudson River Valley, is New York State's first Certified Passive House. Designed by architect Dennis Wedlick, it is one of only 11 U.S. projects to be awarded certification from the Passive House Institute. 

  2. Winterscape

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    Hudson passive project elliot kaufman photographer exterior winter

    The current owners of the Hudson Passive Project house never turned the heat on last winter, says Wedlick. "In my mind, this is a true breakthrough. It reminds us that good building techniques can really be the answer." It also means the house is working exactly as planned. For more on the Hudson Passive Project, click here

  3. Great Room

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    Hudson passive project peter aaron photographer interior view

    ©Peter Aarons

    Wedlick opted for a striking two-story wall of triple-paned windows on the structure’s southern exposure. Soaring cathedral ceilings with bow-arch beams give the open, loft-like interior a roominess that belies its compact 1,650 footprint.

  4. Kitchen

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    Hudson passive project peter aaron photographer great room

    ©Peter Aarons

    Wedlick installed beechwood cabinets, marble countertops, and premium energy-efficient GE appliances for the house. "We opted for an induction range with no hood,” notes Wedlick, "to reduce having another penetration in the airtight structure."

  5. Dining Area

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    Hudson passive project peter aaron photographer kitchen

    ©Peter Aarons

    The dining area benefits from the warmth and views provided by the home's south-facing windows. The triple-pane windows, high ceilings and open second-floor loft are all key features in the home's passive design.

  6. Bathroom

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    Hudson passive project peter aaron photographer bathroom

    ©Peter Aaron

    The bathrooms, outfitted in marble and recycled-glass tiles, features low-flow Waterworks faucets and fixtures, are outfitted in marble and recycled glass tiles. For increased energy efficiency, the bathrooms and kitchen were ganged together, back-to-back, in order to share the hot water provided by the home’s single on-demand water heater.

  7. Living Area

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    Hudson passive project peter aaron photographer living room

    ©Peter Aaron

    “The aesthetics of the structure have a lot to do with the message of the house,” says Wedlick, who wanted the residence to have a strong connection to nature and to give the impression of being as healthy indoors as out.  

  8. How it Works

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    Hudson passive house air flow revised

    Dennis Wedlick

    The Hudson Passive Project uses a heat-recovery system. "I call it a magic box," says Wedlick. "It’s the only mechanical equipment required in a passive house. It brings fresh air in and exhausts stale air out, all the while transferring the heat to the new air coming in."

  9. Raising the frame

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    Hudson passive project michael fredericks photographer raising the roof

    ©Elliott Kaufman

    Although Wedlick spent years refining the eco-specifications of his design using thermal modeling and precise climatic information, the Hudson Passive Project house took only about six months to construct once building got underway. Shown here, Bill Stratton's building team raising the frame.

  10. Airtight Construction

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    Hudson passive house construction interior

    ©Michael Fredericks

    Passive solar houses come close to achieving 'net zero' energy consumption by being super-insulated and airtight. To achieve this, builders insulate the entire envelope, including the walls, roof—even the foundation—and meticulously caulk, seal, and tape every possible gap or opening.

  11. Windows

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    Hudson passive project michael fredericks photographer exterior construction

    ©Michael Fredericks

    In addition to eschewing structural elements that might serve as thermal bridges (allowing hot or cold air to escape), passive design also relies on strategically placed windows to ensure the home gains more heat than it loses.

  12. North-Facing View

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    New york times nathaniel brooks photographer exterior rear

    ©Nathaniel Brooks

    While the south-facing side of the house features large, expansive windows that capture warmth, the rear, north-facing side is virtually windowless.

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