Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Building Type: Single Family Residential
Construction Type: Mixed Construction
Project Phase: Complete
Year of Construction: 2018
Gross Square Footage: 2200
PHPP Verification: Download

Project Team

Architect: Laura Blau AIA, BluPath Design Inc
General Contractor: Hanson Fine Building
Passive House Certifier: David Berg, DSB Energy Services
Passive House Consultant: Laura Blau AIA, BluPath Design Inc.
Project Submitted by: Paul Thompson


Project Description

This 2,200 square foot two-story Passive House is built above an existing 2,000 square foot commercial garage. The warehouse roof provides front and rear “yards” or decks. The double height glass living room facade is oriented to true south to maximize winter solar gain, and the sculptural shading structure shields the house from summer solar gain.
The open plan features a chef’s kitchen with large pull up peninsula and generous pantry. The main floor has two rear bedrooms/office and guest bath. The upper level has a lofted media room overlooking the double height living room. The master bedroom suite is in the rear.

The ground floor entrance stair leads up to the light-filled double height living room. A powder room and mechanical room is under the stair. Space is provided for a future elevator to the main floor for aging in place.

A ducted air to air heat pump provides heating and cooling. Supplemental electric radiant floor pads for peak winter loads are provided at the south window wall, the ground floor entrance, and for delight and comfort in the Masterbath.

A Zehnder ERV is augmented with a recirculating demand driven vent from the front windows to the rear bedroom to assist in energy balance, particularly during hip months. Dedicated makeup air is provided for the ducted range hood, which is ducted to the exterior. The laundry room functions as a drying closet.

Light tubes illuminate the pantry and guest bath on the first floor. All other rooms are naturally lit with Intus 3-pane PH certified UPVC windows. Window openings are splayed on two sides of the thick super insulated wall, aiming light playfully in various directions.

Appliances are Tier III Energy Star where possible. WaterSense plumbing fixtures are installed in most cases. LED lighting is used throughout. Some locations have motion, vacancy or light sensors.

The main roof is designed for a green roof with solar photovoltaic panels. Space is provided for solar thermal panels. Rain barrels capture stormwater for front and rear deck container gardens.

Floor R Value = 20 (Slab on Grade)
R Value = 52 (Above garage)
Exterior Walls R Value = 53
Roof: R Value = 97
Windows & Doors: R Value = 7.8
Intus Windows
Ventilation: 84% Efficient
Zehnder America ComfoAir 350 ERV
Heating & Cooling:
Mitsubishi 17,000 Btu Air to Air Heat Pump
Domestic Hot Water: GE GeoSpring Heat Pump Water Heater

Photo Credit: Sam Oberter Photography