Philadelphia Gets First Passive-Certified Homes

The Stables, a group of townhouses in Philadelphia, will be the first "Passive" certified homes in the city when they are finished this spring.

They will join just a few dozen passive homes in the US and about 1000 in Europe. This most rigorous green design cuts energy demand 90% and makes up what’s needed through 4.23 kilowatts of rooftop solar.

In this case, reaching Passive House Standards was easier because townhouses line the streets of Philadelphia, one
of the most efficient urban designs.

The super energy efficiency is achieved by combining many factors, such as an air tight envelope consisting of R-34 walls, R-52 roof, R-8 doors and triple-pane windows. The site for each home is 95% permeable, including a green roof and porous paving for managing stormwater.

A home energy monitoring system in every home will help homeowners cut energy use even more. 

In our opinion, the buildings ugly and don’t fit into the historic landscape, however:

Philadelphia Passive Homes

Onion Flats group are developing the homes with Domani
Developers.

There will be 27 homes in all, down from the originally planned 70, because of the difficulty of finding financing for advanced home development.

Empowerhouse, a concept homes showcased at the Department of Energy’s 2011 Solar Decathlon, is also a model for passive homes.

Another cutting edge building certification is the "Living Building Challenge," which the Bullitt Center in Seattle is based on.

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