First Certified Passive House in a Landmark District

Architects Baxt Ingui Architects, P.C
Location: United States, Brooklyn
Year: 2015
Area: 1402 m2
Photographs: Peter Peirce, Inc.
Certifications: Passive House
Other Team Members: Landscaper: Gunn Landscape Architecture, PLLC Passive House Consultant: Sam McAfee

Image by Peter Peirce, Inc.

This house was our second passive house and was a significant project in that it became a repeatable template for the passive house process. We created an open communication among our in-house team, the general contractor, engineers, consultants, and Passive House Certifiers with weekly on-site meetings to create details that were more efficient and more effective with every step of the way. As one of the earliest passive houses submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, we worked collaboratively with a number of preservationists as well as other general contractors who were concurrently working on other projects of ours. It successfully became the first certified passive house in a historic district and created the framework that we are continuously honing.

26784 Kitchenview
Image by Peter Peirce, Inc.

The renovation included digging out the cellar to accommodate a small-scale basketball court, a rear addition which needed to respect the neighbor’s angled wall to meet Landmarks requirements, and a rooftop addition that walks out onto a large roof deck. Where most of the exterior detail at the front façade remained intact, the interior historic detail had been previously removed. This provided a blank slate for us to design an open and contemporary layout that expanded and maximized the square footage. Our clients, a family of four, came to us looking for function and comfort, and they emphasized the need for natural light and an open flow between multiple living spaces. They also wanted a home that was healthy and as energy efficient as possible which made them a perfect candidate for a Passive House.

Image by Peter Peirce, Inc.

The collaboration also included the interior furnishings by Shawn Henderson Interior Design who provided a final layer of sophistication with tasteful finishes.

26779 Roofdeck
Image by Peter Peirce, Inc.
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