Single Family Residential
Philadelphia, PA: Northern Liberties
This small citadel developed through the owner’s desire for a house-as-retreat. For the better part of a decade, the occupants of this single-family house experienced rapid change in their Philadelphia neighborhood: gritty artist studios and open green lots were infilled with mass residential development and large-scale construction. The project fortifies the residents from the changing environment.
As opposed to traditional rowhome construction where neighbors share a “party” wall, the building pulls away from its masonry neighbors to produce two buffer yards. This eliminates noise infiltration from adjacent properties while offering a continuous belt of outdoor living space. In comparison to the nearly windowless street-facing walls, the house becomes permeable at the rear where maximum solar exposure occurs. Double-stud exterior walls create fourteen inches of sound attenuation between street and interior. Thicker assemblies and air-tight construction provide for smaller mechanical systems, minimal energy bills and indoor air quality that is otherwise rare in an urban setting.
Passive House Principles
0.62 ACH 50
4.76 kW Roof-top solar PV array
Energy Recovery Ventilation
All electric systems
Reduced heating and cooling system size
High interior air quality
Builder: Future & Sons
Energy Verifier: DSB Energy
Structural Engineer: Larsen & Landis
Solar Provider: Solar States
Photography: Sam Oberter