Text description provided by the architects. Tighthouse is the first certified Passive House in NYC and represents the next wave of residential living that out-performs the vast majority of homes in the US. This retrofitted row home originally built in 1899 but substantially upgraded in 2012--one hundred-thirteen years later--performs with 90% less heating energy and 75% less energy use overall compared to the standard home.
A continuous envelope of insulation and increased air tightness assure that the building retains its heat or cool--depending on the season. A highly efficient ventilation system, HRV, constantly runs to provide fresh air to make this home comfortable. One's carbon footprint is not only greatly reduced but the home owner utility bills are extremely low and there is no gas service. The retrofit adds a new rear facade, 3rd floor, roof terrace plus features a double-height art studio at the lowest level.
The house includes solar thermal for hot water and solar photovoltaic panels that help to supply site energy to the home after the Passive House design has already greatly minimized the energy requirements (so fewer solar panels required!). Tighthouse is being monitored to learn more about its performance and enables us to work to improve it and future Passive House projects. So far 30% of the home’s energy usage is provided by the solar panels on site.