The intent of the Demonstration Project is two-fold: 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 will learn 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 will run on parallel tracks with several strategic collaborative sessions. The resulting study will provide two detailed reports. One report will describe how to satisfy each Petal imperative necessary to achieve Living Building Challenge certification. The second report will describe how to renovate an existing rowhouse to meet both national and international Passive House benchmarks.
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! No experience with Passive House or Living Building Challenge required. These projects will both help you get up to speed and deepen your knowledge!
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 will be examined are:
The conclusion of this year-long, 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 email@example.com.
Having previously designed two buildings for a Quaker community in the suburbs, this year the Living Building Challenge Community is taking on the challenge of affordable infill housing in Philadelphia.
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? Of course we can! Living Building Challenge is not a prescriptive standard and the path to certification depends entirely on the ingenuity and dedication of the project team.
Following our proven rhythm, we will meet at monthly charrettes and workshops to engage with the design community and project stakeholders, for hands-on learning about all 20 Petal Imperatives. Some topics you will learn about are:
Over the next six months we will create a conceptual design and feasibility study that will provide a detailed report describing how to satisfy each Petal Imperative necessary to achieve Living Building Challenge certification.
If interested in volunteering with the Living Building Challenge Project - please contact Nina Dudas at firstname.lastname@example.org.