Passive Rowhouse Project Kickoff Charrette

Wed, 3/14/2018 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

KieranTimberlake, 841 North American Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123

We are excited to announce the Demonstration Project 2018, coordinated by the Passive House and Living Building Challenge Communities! 

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 (learn more about the Living Building Challenge Community). 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.  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). 

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 [1]. There are great resources for renovating rowhomes like the Philadelphia Rowhouse Manual [2], the High Performance Historic Masonry Retrofit eBook [3], 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.  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.  Some of the areas that will be examined are:


  • Interior and Exterior Insulation Options
  • Hygrothermal Safety and Analysis
  • High Performance Historic Preservation Strategies
  • Rainscreen Facades
  • Air Barrier Continuity
  • Thermal Bridge Modeling and Mitigation
  • Doors and Window Installation and Detailing
  • Analyzing Assemblies in PHPP and WUFI
  • Value Engineering and Design Optimization
  • Domestic Hot Water System Options                              
  • HVAC Design and Integration


We invite you to participate!  Whether you are experienced with Passive House or not, the Passive Rowhouse Project will both help you get up to speed and deepen your knowledge of high performance design and construction. 

A special thanks to KieranTimberlake for their generous support!


Tickets are sold out - save the date for the next event on April 11th!





Legacy Partners

Platinum Partners

Enter your registered email address to receive password reset instructions:


Log in to your Green Building United account:

Reset Password