Mar 17

Three Years Later: Life in Active House USA

On the eve of Earth Day, the owners of one of North America’s most energy-efficient homes share their experience living in this unique home.

active-house-usa-2013-green-home-builder-st-louisThree years ago, hundreds of people lined up to view a one of a kind home built in Webster Groves. The home, built by Hibbs Homes  and designed by Jeff Day & Associates Architects was the very first Active House built in the United States. The Active House Alliance, a Dutch nonprofit organization that works with sustainable builders around the world, connected with St. Louis custom home builder Hibbs Homes to create a prototype house that would be used to bolster green home building standards worldwide.

This one-of-a-kind home provided data that was used to support the development of a newly crafted green home building standard known as the Active House Alliance standards. Traditionally green building standards concern themselves with the materials and building processes, but Active House standards are the first of its kind in that they evaluate and design with a concentration on what happens in the home after the homeowners take residence.


Mar 13

Active House USA Open House Attracts Thousands

St Louis, MO is causing quite a buzz in the green housing industry, both in the gateway city and abroad. The first Active House in North America is almost ready for the moving trucks to arrive but before the house becomes the Smith family’s full time home the builders and vendor partners gathered together to invite their colleagues, the general public and media to take a last look at the house and see what all of the buzz is about.

On March 8 and 9, 2013 the final open house for Active House USA was held, and close to 2,000 people came from as close as next door and as far away as Denmark to see the house first hand and speak directly with all of the industry leading green building professionals that made the prototype home a reality. Lines snaked through the backyard and down the driveway as people waited to slip on some protective shoe covers and head inside to see the home first-hand.

The public open house, which was held from 10am until 2pm on Saturday, attracted so many people that almost two hours after the designated end time people were still peeking through the windows and approaching the homeowners and builders to see if they could be squeezed in for a glimpse of this unique home.

Vendors who were on hand answering questions during the event included Hibbs Homes, Verdatek Solutions, Laclede Gas, Velux, Jeff Day and Associates, Smith Patrick CPAs, Castle Stone Products, ABF Security, Webster Window and Door, James Hardie Siding,, Scott Lee Heating, Microgrid Solar, Metro Lighting, HomeNav, Dogwood Solar, Ferguson, and the University of Missouri Energy Efficiency Research Consortium.

Once construction is completely wrapped, the Smith family will move into the home and begin working closely with the University of Missouri Energy Efficiency Research Consortium and the Active House Alliance to provide anecdotal and statistical metrics  to help assist with further research and development of green building standards both in the US and abroad.