One of the only certified Passive Houses in the southern U.S., the long and thin LeBois House relies on the design strategies of the area’s camelback shotgun style to minimize eastern and western heat gain while maximizing southern and northern exposure. The south-facing single-pitch roof reflects and maximizes the natural light that floods the house through the north-facing clerestory windows.

Minimal detailing and trim help the small interiors feel spacious and clutter-free. Even in the 3-foot-by-6-foot bathroom, architect Corey Saft maximized space, comfortably managing a shower, toilet and sink with an in-floor drain. Low-flow sink aerators,  1.5-gpm Roadrunner showerheads, and Coroma dual-flush toilets with integrated sink make conserving water painless.

Built with advanced framing techniques, the house is wrapped in 1 inch of polyisocyanurate insulation (2 inches in the roof) to increase R-value and eliminate thermal breaks. The skin of the building is a modified back-vented rainscreen designed to act as a whole-house sun shade while managing moisture. The ¾-inch air vent between the wrap and the exterior skin provides up to 20 degrees of temperature difference even before the insulation is reached, says Saft.

Inside, Type-X drywall, concrete counters, and tile in the bathrooms provide thermal mass and work to maximize the efforts of the 1.5-ton mini split heating and cooling system. A conditioned half basement, rare in Louisiana, provides storage and moisture control while holding the major plumbing and duct runs.

A 3.26kW thin film solar cell array integrated into the light-colored standing-seam metal roof is efficient even in partial shade conditions and with off-angle sun rays, bringing the net energy consumption of the house close to zero for much of the year.

Other sustainable features include:
--engineered ash flooring
--no-VOC paint and low-VOC caulk and construction adhesive
--ERV provides MERV-12 filtration and pre-cools and pre-dehumidifies the incoming air stream
--LED and CFL lighting
--TED energy monitoring system
--condensing dryer for minimal envelope punctures