2022 RDAA | Residential Special Constraints | Gallatin Passive House | North River Architecture & Planning

Peter Reynolds is a true believer in Passive House, so much so that he built his own. And he thinks the time has finally come to go large with the strategy for designing and building more sustainably. He has a big vision for his company’s FlexHouse template, derived from his personal house, which he thinks provides enough “Swiss Army Knife” possibilities for customization and future alterations to suit many clients. “The market had not really stepped up until now,” he says. “But now, people are leaving cities and designing with energy in mind. It’s really here now.”

The clients for this house in Gallatin, New York, were seeking a family-centered rural life with built-in resilience in the face of climate change. Energy and food security were paramount. Their large property also contained a dilapidated Dutch barn they wished to incorporate into the project. “They wanted to be spare in what they do—to do more with less,” Peter explains. “So every space has two or three functions to it and there are no hallways.” 

The “full-span structural design” will allow future changes with relative ease, he says. But, with such flexibility already designed in, that might not be necessary. Two 24-foot lift-slide doors open the house to outdoor life, further releasing the plan from constraints. And the restored barn is now a tabula rasa for entertaining, working, or whatever the program du jour may be. Our jury admired the goals of the project and the dedication to a more sustainable model for modern life.


Residential Special Constraints

North River Architecture & Planning

Gallatin Passive House

Gallatin, New York

Project Credits

Architect: Peter Reynolds and Chris Ruel, project designers/managers; Stephanie Bassler, project architect, North River Architecture & Planning, Stone Ridge, New York

Builder: North River Design Build,
Stone Ridge

Interior Designer: Amy Baratta,
Amy Baratta Design, Beacon, New York

Structural Engineer: Bill Scribner, Kaaterskill Associates, Cairo, New York

Energy Modeling: John Loercher, Northeast Projects, Hillsdale, New York

Lighting Designer: CS Illumination,
New York, New York

Project Size: 3,400 square feet

Site Size: 163 acres

Construction Cost: $875 per square foot

Photography: Randazzo & Blau Photography; North River Architecture & Planning

Key Products

Engineered Lumber: TrimJoist

Entry Doors/Windows: M SORA

Fasteners: Simpson Strong-Tie

Housewrap: Johns Manville Foil-Faced Polyoso

Thermal/Moisture Barrier:
Huber ZIP System

Window Wall Systems: Sugatsune, sliding doors