Habitat for Humanity – Ancramdale


New construction

Construction Type


Building Type

Detached single-family house



About the Project

The Ancram Rural Build Passive Houses is a semi-attached single-family residential project designed by a volunteer team of Hudson Valley-based architects, engineers, and construction consultants, and constructed by Columbiana County Habitat for Humanity (CCH4H) volunteers built in the village of Ancramdale, NY. These are the seventh and eighth CCH4H Passive Houses developed to create affordable homeownership opportunities for lower-income, first-time home buyers. Passive House design and technology results in minimal and consistent utility costs, which helps CCH4H lift their low-income workforce families free out from housing poverty.

Project Name: Habitat for Humanity – Ancramdale
Certification type: PHIUS
Location: Ancramdale, NY
Builder: Columbia County Habitat for Humanity
Constitution Manager: RAPP CM
Size: 1,500 sq. ft per unit
Status: Complete
Year completed: 2020

The original challenge given by CCH4H to the volunteer AEC team was to create a PH building system that could be executed within the limited resources available to a small-scale and rural Habitat for Humanity chapter that would suit the rural character and conservation requirements of the regions historic villages and towns. Semi-attached solutions, such as the CCH4H Passive Houses, have proven to be the most cost efficient use of materials and labor. Semi-attached units allow for higher density, lower cost housing in low-density single-family residential neighborhoods, and suit the preservation intent of rural conservation comprehensive plans and zoning laws with minimal NIMBY rural resistance.

CCH4H Passive Houses are approximately 1400sf small, have 3 bedrooms and two bathrooms, and additional flexible space for the homeowners to use as needed. Each iteration of CCH4H Passive Houses is adapted to its specific location and is used as an optimization test of building systems, such as testing building envelope system including hybrid SIP vs. double-stud construction, and slab-on-grade vs. walk-out basement/foundations. The Ancram Rural Build Passive Houses use double-stud construction and slab-on-grade with dense pack insulation and prefabricated roof trusses.