Student-Designed Modular Affordable Passive House Residences

In 2012, Barbara Gehrung was invited to provide passive house consulting services for the University of Virginia’s ecoMOD project, which was organized by professors John Quale, Michael Britt, Elizabeth Jennings, and Erik de los Reyes. Within this project, supported by the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission of Virginia, architecture students and researchers teamed up with a modular fabricator and local non-profits to design and build prototypes of affordable, modular, energy-efficient housing units for the commercial market. After two years of intensive work, two successful Passive House units and one to code comparative unit were completed in South Boston and Abingdon Virginia. In addition to energy efficiency, the homes feature non-toxic and reclaimed or sustainably sourced building materials, and the site is enhanced by a landscape design that is both aesthetically pleasing and ecologically sound. In 2013, the project won Architect Magazine’s prestigious R+D Award. For more about this project, please visit ecoMOD’s website HERE


Architect: University of Virginia, ecoMOD South Team, 
Prof. John Quale, Michael Britt, Elizabeth Jennings, Erik de los Reyes
Landscape Architecture: University of Virginia, Prof. Nancy Tagahashi, Elizabeth Bailey
Passive House Consulting: Barbara Gehrung/bg design & consulting llc
Mechanical Engineering: Galen Staengl/Staengl Engineering
Modular Builder: Cardinal Homes
PHIUS+ Rater: Leo Watkins/Wheatenergy
Non-Profit Clients/Partners: Southside Outreach, South Boston, VA, People Inc., Abingdon, VA