Steve and Kathy Bluestone began working with Bruce Coldham, FAIA (C&H Architects) in 2007 to design and build a home in the hills of the Hudson Valley. This low-slung modern home is dug into the hill behind it, to minimize its visual impact and capture the full view of the valley below. With a workshop and utility spaces below, the main level spreads out from a central entry point, supported by structural tree columns harvested on site, to an engaging open floor plan.
Once realized, the house fulfilled Bluestones’ search for a captivating retirement home. But its creation put Steve on a path forward with a relatively uncommon building material, Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC). Steve brought the material to the project, and championed its use as the Owner and General Contractor, and has made its use a focus of his new business.
Resistant to fire, water, air infiltration, and pests, AAC block is uncommon in the United States, but provides many benefits for those looking to create durable long lasting buildings. Insulated to the exterior with foam board, it provided for this Hillsdale home a solid and thermally robust enclosure. Convinced of its virtue by his experience here and elsewhere, Steve founded a company to advocate and innovate with the material, called Passive Dwellings.
Certified by PHIUS as a Passive House, 10kW of solar quickly achieved net zero status for the home.