How NYC’s first Passive House was crafted

August 24, 2013 02:00PM

Home designer Julie Torres Moskovitz designed the first certified “Passive House”—a certification based on sustainability—in New York City, according to Dwell.

Torres Moskovitz of the environmentally conscious Brooklyn design practice Fabrica718 converted a 19th century, 3,120-square-foot Park Slope house into a Passive House, a performance-based designation that focuses on how efficiently the building breathes, heats and cools.

The first thing that Torres Moskovitz did with the brownstone was to in fact get rid of the brownstone. The exterior of the home is covered in gray stucco over foam, which is only a 20-inch-thick insulating shell around the original brick façade. The stucco-on-foam covering effectively seals in the heat in the winter and cool air in the summer.

On the parlor floor, the windows have the same proportions as those in traditional brownstones, but they are mullion-free and have a special coating that helps warm the house in the winter.

The windows have been individually sealed with an Intello Plus membrane and Tescon Profil tape.

Torres Moskovitz also decided to open up the back of the house with larger, north-facing windows in the open kitchen. This allows more light to be filtered into the dark center of the row house. [Dwell] – James Comtois