Back in August, we reported on the construction of New York State’s first passive house, and since then, the ecotastic performance standard has been gaining speed in New York City — especially in Brooklyn. The borough’s fourth passive house construction, a four-story historic Park Slope brownstone, is on track to become the nation’s first townhouse retrofit to meet passive house standards.
The renovation began in September 2009 after homeowner Justin Stewart wanted to see how close he could get his new residence to zero energy. Brooklyn-based design-build firm Prospect Architecture both designed and managed the construction of the renovation, which is nearly complete. The design of the house targets insulation issues and airtightness from the basement up, protecting the house from outside temperatures changes. Stewart’s brownstone also had to meet landmark requirements, which meant purchasing expensive triple glaze custom windows that match the originals while still reducing air leakage.
Two energy-recovery ventilators provide a constant supply of fresh air and filter pollution from outside to help keep indoor temperatures comfortable year-round. The renovation also included the installation of two EcoSmart ventless fireplaces, solar hot water, new wood floors, two new kitchens, and remodeled bathrooms, plus extensive restoration of the interior woodwork. The Passive House Institute U.S. visits Stewart’s home this month to test the building for certification.
Images © Adam Bell