Attain This! is a design for an affordable, ultra-low energy home to be built in Deer Park, NY. As of spring 2012, the project is in design development for client Long Island Housing Partnership. Attain This! would be the first house on Long Island built to achieve Passive House(Passivhaus) standards—a rigorous, quantitative energy performance standard originating in Germany in 1988. More than 15,000 buildings have been built to the Passive House standard in Europe, while fewer than 100 have been built in the U.S., although the movement is gaining traction in America. Built with structural insulated panels, Attain This! would be virtually airtight and superinsulated, and would have net-zero water consumption, passive solar heating, and passive cooling through cross-ventilation. The emphasis on thermal performance would result in significant energy cost savings: estimated energy bills for the home total less than half the amount for a comparable conventional home.
The design is intended to be built using a kit of parts, which can be quickly assembled without highly skilled labor. Interior spaces can be subdivided in a variety of ways, accommodating almost any type of family structure and live/work arrangements. The front yard of the Deer Park home would be used as a vegetable garden, anticipated to save homeowners hundreds of dollars in grocery bills annually; the backyard would be planted with native grasses.
Attain This! is being been developed as a prototype for suburban Long Island. The building typology is optimized to fit most similarly oriented vacant lots (parcels oriented along a north-south axis). The narrow plan and 20×40 footprint allow for two Attain This! houses to fit on any lot that is 100 feet or wider.