Achieving Sustainability Excellence on Martha’s Vineyard:
The Holland Passive House

The Holland Passive House, Achieving Sustainability Excellence

In the realm of modern architecture, few projects stand as a testament to the fusion of innovation and sustainability quite like the Holland Passive House. Nestled on the eastern shore of Lake Tashmoo, on the picturesque island of Martha’s Vineyard, this two-story, wood-framed, single-family residence serves as a pioneering example of eco-conscious design. With a commitment to achieving Passive House Standard certification, the Holland Passive House showcases a harmonious blend of architectural brilliance and environmental responsibility.

A Home with a Purpose

From its very inception, the Holland Passive House was envisioned as more than just a dwelling; it was conceived as a living testament to responsible living. The careful siting, layout, and orientation of the house were meticulously planned to maximize natural daylighting and create a sanctuary of privacy from neighboring properties while offering breathtaking views of Lake Tashmoo.

Sustainable Design in Every Detail

The sustainable ethos of the Holland Passive House extends to its construction and design elements. The exterior features low-maintenance finishes, while the absence of combustion equipment underscores the commitment to clean living. The primary strategies employed to meet Zero Net Energy Building (ZNEB) requirements include exceeding the air-tightness and thermal standards set by the Passive House standard. This involves meticulous load reduction and minimal electrical consumption, complemented by roof-mounted PV panels and solar domestic hot water systems.  With the dramatically changing weather on Martha’s Vineyard the home functions exceptionally well thanks to proper planning and highly effective systems built into the home.

A Custom Home Design to Meet All Seasons on Martha’s Vineyard

This thoughtfully crafted residence accommodates the needs of a modern family. The first floor boasts an open great room, including a kitchen, dining area, and living room, which seamlessly connects to a view deck, capturing the mesmerizing westerly views of Lake Tashmoo. Additionally, a family room, designed to double as a first-floor master bedroom in the future, ensures that the homeowners can age in place comfortably.

Award-Winning Excellence

The Holland Passive House has garnered recognition and accolades for its commitment to sustainable living. In 2016, it received a prestigious $10,000 grant as a Zero Net Energy Building under the Pathways to Zero Net Energy Program, administered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

Farley Built home

Environmental Responsibility in Every Aspect

The Holland Passive House is a testament to sustainability at every level. The choice of materials, from natural Alaskan yellow cedar siding and FSC certified hardwood decking to carefully selected insulation options, reflects a deep commitment to minimizing environmental impact. Even the installation of an advanced de-nitrifying septic system promotes eco-conscious home building.  The home does a fantastic job honoring and preserving Martha’s Vineyard environment with these and many other eco-conscious materials and building principles.

Energy Efficiency as a Cornerstone

Designing a building that meets Passive House standards is a demanding task, particularly in a cold climate like Martha’s Vineyard. However, the Holland Passive House rises to the challenge with innovative passive design techniques that minimize annual energy consumption. This approach reduces the reliance on additional energy sources and maximizes the efficiency of PV (Photovoltaic) and solar DHW systems.

A Home That Gives Back to Martha’s Vineyard Energy Grid

The Holland Passive House proudly holds a HERS Index of 22 and annually generates around 6,200 kWh of renewable energy. With a power rating of 4,560 watts and reliance on EverSource as its electric utility company, this residence stands as a beacon of sustainable living.

Beyond the Building

The sustainable ethos of the Holland Passive House extends beyond the building itself. The architects and builders meticulously planned the impact of the house on the site and neighboring properties, enhancing privacy and respecting the environment. Passive solar strategies and consideration of coastal and prevailing winds further minimize the ecological footprint.

Designing for the Future

One remarkable aspect of the Holland Passive House is its adaptability. The residence is designed to allow the homeowners to ‘age in place,’ with flexible spaces that can transition to meet changing needs. Flat roof portions offer the potential for additional solar arrays and roof gardens, ensuring that the home can evolve with its owners.

A Collaborative Endeavor

The journey towards Passive House Certification was not a solitary one. A dedicated project team, including architects and energy efficiency experts, worked closely to evaluate performance trade-offs, assess mechanical systems, and specify renewable energy strategies. Their collaboration was essential in optimizing the ‘house as a system’ design.  Farley Built, Inc. was crucial in collaborating and executing the overall project to perfection.

Farley Built home
Farley Built home

Environmental Impact and Financial Viability

While constructing a Passive House presented unique challenges, the Holland Passive House’s construction costs remained in line with major projects on Martha’s Vineyard. The gross cost of the renewable energy system was $40,259, offset by tax credits and incentives. Federal and state incentives, combined with annual electric savings and revenue from renewable energy credits, underline the financial viability of sustainable living.

A Beacon of Sustainability

Martha’s Vineyard Holland Passive House stands as a beacon of sustainability and innovation. Its commitment to Passive House standards, energy efficiency, and responsible living is a testament to what is achievable when we prioritize the health of our planet and the well-being of its inhabitants. This residence is not merely a house; it is a symbol of excellence in sustainable design and living. 

About Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard, located just off the coast of Massachusetts, is a captivating island known for its pristine beaches, charming small towns, and a relaxed, coastal vibe that pulls visitors year-round. This picturesque Massachusetts destination offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and historic charm.  With a vibrant arts scene, delectable seafood cuisine, and a strong sense of community, Martha’s Vineyard is a beloved haven for both tourists and residents, making it a quintessential New England gem and a vacation spot that just about all of America has heard about.  Farley Built, Inc. offers solar installation and custom home building services on Martha’s Vineyard.  If you are interested in solar setup or a custom home then contact us today.