The intent of the Demonstration Project, which began in 2018, has been two-fold: to establish the feasibility of renovating existing brick masonry rowhouses to the Passive House standard; and design infill affordable housing to meet the requirements of the Living Building Challenge. Using charrettes and workshops to engage with the design community, participants have learned about opportunities to rethink how we design and build using above code standards as a guide for future development.
The Passive House and Living Building Challenge studies have run on parallel tracks with several strategic collaborative sessions. The resulting study will provide two detailed reports, scheduled for release in 2019.
We invite you to participate! Whether you are an urban planner, architect, contractor, homeowner, educator, developer, or just interested in deep green design - we welcome your unique presence! Please read about each project below and how you can get involved.
The two and three story brick masonry rowhouse is a ubiquitous building type throughout the northeastern United States. In Philadelphia alone, 70% of all housing is rowhousing. There are great resources for renovating rowhomes like the Philadelphia Rowhouse Manual, the High Performance Historic Masonry Retrofit eBook, organizations like the Healthy Rowhouse Project and scores of individual designers and builders who are doing exemplary work. However, there is no comprehensive design manual that addresses how to conduct holistic high performance renovations of the existing brick masonry building typology at multiple scales, aesthetic requirements, and budgets all targeted towards specific, quantifiable energy benchmarks.
Though there are myriad high performance energy benchmarks, Passive House methodology takes a holistic approach to the design of high performance buildings and has a track record of verifiable results from over 20 years of development. Some of the areas that have been and will be examined are:
The conclusion of this volunteer-led charrette design process will be a how-to manual that details the Passive Rowhouse Project’s processes and conclusions that designers, consultants, builders, and developers can use to help guide their own projects. This document will describe different wall, floor, roof assembly and mechanical system options, component continuity, thermal bridge mitigation, hygrothermal performance and thermal bridge mitigation for multiple budgets and aesthetic goals (i.e. contemporary or historic).
If interested in volunteering with the Passive House project - please contact Shannon Pendleton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Living Building Challenge (LBC) Community has sought to assess the feasibility of applying deep green building practices to affordable infill housing in Philadelphia. With input from Community Ventures, the LBC Community wanted to answer the question, "Can we build regenerative, resourceful, inspiring, healthy, net-positive water, and energy efficient rowhouses that are also affordable, and can we produce a best-strategies manual for anyone who would like to design and build Living affordable housing?"
Following a proven rhythm, the LBC Community met for monthly charrettes and workshops to engage with the design community and project stakeholders, for hands-on learning about all 20 Petal Imperatives. Topics included:
Volunteers are needed! If interested in helping with graphic design and research, please contact Nina Dudas.