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A state-of-the-art home in Kansas City is turning heads — here's what sets it apart

"It's not just about saving energy, but also building something that will last."

"It's not just about saving energy, but also building something that will last."

Photo Credit: Kala Performance Homes

A state-of-the-art home in Kansas City, Missouri, is showcasing how "passive house" construction can combine comfort, style, and functionality. 

Hoke Ley Architecture & Interior Design Studio partnered with Kala Performance Homes to construct the first certified passive house in the city. 

As detailed by the architecture firm, there are four foundational principles that go into such a design: thermal control, air control, radiation control, and moisture control. Accounting for these factors helps ensure the house is as energy-efficient as possible.

For a lucky couple in Kansas City, this translated into a cozy, durable home that is difficult to leave.

"I think the one thing that I find most valuable is just the comfort of the home. … The steadiness of the temperature, and the lack of fluctuation in temperatures, and being able to sleep better. You know, sleep is huge. It's important for your mental health, your physical health," Pooja, one of the homeowners, said in an interview with Kala. 

The 2,571-square-foot home, which was built in the historic Beacon Hill neighborhood, obtained its passive house certification in November 2022, joining the list of other homes outside of K.C. that have been utilizing this planet-friendly design, which can also result in considerable savings.

According to the Energy Information Administration, more than half of energy consumption by households in the United States is typically for heating and cooling. 

That can result in not only pricey electric bills but also a lot of harmful pollution linked to an overheating planet and extreme weather such as heat waves. While progress has been made in building out infrastructure to support cleaner initiatives at state and federal levels, most of the grid in the country is still reliant on dirty energy.  

According to Kala, the details of the Beacon Hill house prevent it from common pitfalls that cause traditional homes to lose heat or cool air. 

Thermally broken triple-pane windows ensure temperatures are regulated regardless of season while ensuring plenty of natural light enters the home. Roof insulation, foundation insulation, and a whole-house humidifier are some of the other features.

The home is also outfitted with an electric vehicle charging station as well as a heat pump hot water heater. All in all, the homeowners have reduced their electric bills by $200 each month. 

"It's not just about saving energy, but also building something that will last," Nic, the other homeowner, said in an interview with Kala. "There are simple things you can do every step of the way to make things last longer, like adding rain screens, using certain paint, and adding a metal roof that will allow us to install solar."

"When I think of sustainability, I think of strength," Pooja added. "One hundred years from now, our house will probably still be standing and be in reasonable shape, because it's strong."

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