CGA Studio Architecture received a Housing Innovation Award from the United States Department of Energy. The project is a retrofit of a 1905 cottage in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, to the Phius+ Source Zero standard. Principal Architect Christina Griffin worked with the homeowners to create what she describes as a prototype for affordable, fossil fuel-free living that is environmentally friendly, resilient, adaptable, and replicable. Completed in 2020, the Forever House was also a recipient of a Phius Passive Project Design Competition award in 2022.
The 1,713-square-foot home has a negative HERS rating (-17), as it generates more energy than it consumes. Compared to the typical new home, the DOE estimates that the owners will save an average of $3,650 per year. “We are thrilled with our Zero Energy Passive House," said the owners. "We generate more power than we use [and it] fulfills many other goals, ranging from aging-in-place to resiliency. [It’s] always the right temperature. Not only are we exempt from power outages, but recently our house was a refuge during the smoke inundation from wildfires.”
The latest award was presented to Griffin at October’s 2023 Housing Innovation Awards ceremony at the EEBA High Performance Home Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah. According to the DOE, the award was meant to highlight architects who are “focusing on the future, leveraging the latest state-of-the-art technologies to help reduce carbon emissions in addition to training and inspiring the next generation of home builders, trades, and industry professionals.”