The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning

[X:14] Utah Passive Lab House

[X:14] Utah Passive Lab House

The [X:14] House is conceived as a collaborative effort to re-imagine the affordable housing typology. During the course of this process the underlying principles of how we live and the types of spaces we need to accommodate these desires were examined. The [X:14] design group wanted to challenge the contemporary notion that quantity of space supersedes quality of space and design clarity. The aim of [X:14] House is to provide a high quality of living within an optimized, small footprint that is sensitive to both the inhabitants of the building and the local, regional as well as global environment.

The design of the [X:14] House is the synthesis of both modern technology and vernacular principles. Unlike traditional buildings in the modern age, the [X:14] House utilizes what is immediately available from its specific location’s environment as the primary energy sources; it supplements only what cannot be generated onsite to meet modern standards of comfort through technological means.  Traditional ideas of orientation, passive energy design, thermal massing and aspects of day lighting are key elements in the outward expression of the house’s massing. This strategy creates not only a more energy efficient building, it also creates a building with a high survivability factor and extraordinary resilience, all without considerably increased capital investment.



  • 2014 Rocky Mountain Institute Public Choice Award
  • 2014 Design Arts Utah
  • 2014 US Department of Energy Challenge Home Student Design Award for best Construction Documents

Project organization: Jörg Rügemer
Design Team: Anya Barmina, Mathew Duncan, Zahra Hassanipour, Ashley Iordanov, Eden Luna, Massih Nilforoushan, Etinoza Obazee, Jörg Rügemer, Nirman Rajbhandari, Patrick Ramstack, Xiomara R. Salazar, Milad Sefiddashti, Rosemary Shkembi, Minh Tang

Rocky Mountain Institute, Denver Housing Authority

Kennecott Utah Copper, School of Architecture, University of Utah

[X:14] Design Team

project completion planned for Summer 2015