Contractor: PJoe Construction
Mechanical Engineer : RJD Engineering LLC
Structural Engineer : D’Huy Engineering, Inc.
Passive House Consultant: Sam McAfee Interior Design: BIA Interiors
Passive House Certifier & Technical Adviser: Passive House Academy
Text description provided by the architects. 78 Third Place–the first Passive Plus House built in the United States–included a rehabilitation of a townhouse built in the early 1900’s. Revitalized by New York-based studio, Baxt Ingui, the work respected the original historical architecture of the main building and restoration of the front façade, while adding a new third floor with a mansard and a modern rear addition whose size rivaled the existing home.
The homeowners’ goal was to create a beautiful, open and inviting home suitable for everyday living and entertaining as well as respecting the historic character of the original house while incorporating high-performance construction. They emphasized the need for abundant natural light throughout the home as well as an open flow when designing indoor/outdoor living spaces.
Being a Passive Plus House allows the home to perform incredibly well, while saving 80-90 percent of the energy needed to heat and cool the building. Mechanical elements, ductwork and grills were able to be minimized and still allow all rooms to maintain a consistent temperature. Insulation, Passive House detailing and high-performance windows and doors by Zola Windows achieved this. These design details, combined with a solar canopy system by Brooklyn Solarworks allows the home to be close to net zero. The solar panels on the roof helps to offset the electrical draw of the home and are designed to handle a majority of typical daily use. A portion of the array creates a shade canopy over the South facing roof deck allowing it to be enjoyed on sunny days. Adding to the many benefits of a Passive Home, Zola’s American Heritage SDH (Simulated Double Hung) triple‐glazed windows constructed to a high standard of air‐tightness helped create a well-insulted building, coupled with craftsmanship that is befitting of even the most detailed historic restorations. The Landmarks Preservation Commission has approved the windows.
Additional attributes of the Passive House detailing include an Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) system, which is filtered and makes for healthier home 24-7, an incredibly quite indoor environment, and due to the well-sealed the nature of the construction, a relatively bug and critter free environment. The Passive house measures really free the designer and allowed them to have the sculptural stairs next to glass walls and other architectural elements without the worry of getting heating or cooling to these locations.
78 Third Place was a highly collaborative effort between 6 contractors, 3 engineers, a number of Passive House consultants and environmentally conscious clients. Over the last two years, this focused group and collaborative effort allowed for a highly efficient process resulting in a systematic approach that others could follow to more easily achieve Passive House.