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ACME Passive is the next evolution of Buck Moorhead Architect, a design-build company specializing in the Passive House building standard. We handle all phases of a project, from initial design phases through construction. Professional full-service architectural services are provided by our sister company, Acme Architecture, while construction and engineering services (when necessary) are handled by trusted, experienced partner organizations. This collaborative workflow allows us to deliver projects of the absolute highest quality with minimal complication and red tape, and it provides our clients with a single point of contact for all aspects of project development. We love working on intricate, surgical retrofits and remodels just as much as we love working with blank-slate sites for new construction. Passive House design and construction is challenging, fascinating and rewarding and we relish every opportunity to support the PH "movement" through thoughtful practice.


For more information, visit our website: ACME Passive.

Passive House Design and Consulting

What is Passive House?

The Passive House concept represents today’s highest energy standard for building construction. Heating and cooling energy consumption of buildings can be reduced by up to 90%. A Passive House is a very well-insulated, virtually airtight building that is primarily heated by passive solar gain and by internal gains from people and equipment. Energy losses are minimized. Any remaining heat demand is provided by a very small source. Shading and window orientation minimizes heat gain, helping to limit and minimize any cooling load. An energy recovery ventilator provides a constant, balanced fresh air supply, creating comfortable indoor air quality.


“A Passive House is a comprehensive system. “Passive” describes this system’s underlying receptivity and retention capacity. Working with natural resources, free solar energy is captured + applied efficiently, instead of relying predominantly on ‘active’ systems to bring a building to ‘zero’ energy. High performance triple-glazed windows, super-insulation, an airtight building shell, limitation of thermal bridging and balanced energy recovery ventilation make possible extraordinary reductions in energy use and carbon emission.”     - Passive House Institute US



Passive House Principles:


• Super insulated building envelope

• Thermal bridge free construction
• Airtight & Windtight exterior envelope
• Ventilation through energy recovery ventilator
• Highly efficient windows & doors.
• Solar & heat gain optimization




Goals for Performance Characteristics:


• Airtight building shell ≤ 0.6 ACH @ 50 pascal pressure, measured by blower-door test.

• Annual heat requirement ≤ 4.75 kBtu/sf/yr

• Primary Energy 38.1 kBtu/sf/yr


For additional information:


Passive House Institute



US Passive House Institute



NY Passive House (NYPH)

Acme Passive

Acme Passive analyzes projects at all stages of life and provides detailed, best practice strategies along the primary tenets of the Passive House construction standard:


  • superinsulation and thermal-bridge-free construction

  • air- and wind-tight exterior envelope

  • ventilation and heat/energy recovery

  • high performance windows and doors

  • solar optimization and shading strategies


Curious about doing a full Passive House retrofit of an existing building but aren't sure what it would entail?


Have a blank site and want to figure out the optimal size/shape/orientation of a potential new project?


Interested in discovering what incremental improvements can be made to your existing house to lower energy expenses and increase heating and cooling efficiency?


Live in a multi-unit building and worry there's nothing you can do about the lack of insulation and leaky walls?


Using a variety of tools, Acme Passive can help you address all of the above issues and anything in between.  Shading and solar studies establish the constraints and opportunities inherent with any potential project site.  Analysis of thermal bridges (spots where building materials transfer heat and cold from the exterior due to lack of proper insulation) in an existing building provides an inventory of critical details to address during potential remediation efforts.  Full parametric studies of existing and potential buildings can be employed to give a hyper-detailed, specific roadmap to full Passive House compliance.

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