Architect’ Firm: Baxt Ingui Architects
Project Name: Brooklyn Passive House Plus
Lead Architects: Michael Ingui
Passive House Consultant: Sam McAfee Interior Design: BIA Interiors
Passive House Certifier & Technical Adviser: Passive House Acade
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Area: 6370.0 ft2
Photo credits: John Muggenborg Photography
78 Third Place–the first Passive House Plus 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 House Plus 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. This was achieved by insulation, Passive House detailing and high-performance windows and doors by Zola Windows. 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 is designed to handle a majority of typical daily use. A portion of the array creates a shade canopy over the South facing rood 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 windows have been approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
In contrast to the historically preserved street facade, the rear facade was significantly opened up to create light-flooded spaces using Zola’s Thermo Clad line with a more modern aesthetic. This rear opening included the addition of several expansive, triple-panel Lift & Slide doors that span the width of the rooms.
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.