We started working on the conversion of a good ol’ Brooklyn warehouse into a single family Passive House residence. The existing structure was built in the 1960s and is a commercial building in the residential part of Williamsburg. The design concept is quite simple: We propose to create a courtyard to bring in natural light and also serve as a divider between the living area and the work studio. The small roof extension houses the bedrooms and bathrooms. We were careful to keep the addition low in order to bring sunlight into the courtyard year-round, particularly the low winter sun for, you know, solar gain…
The challenges ahead:
- How to insulate the existing CMU structure to PH standards. We can’t add more than a couple of inches on the exterior because it is a lot line.
- We would like to keep the street-facing brick exposed, so we will need interior insulation in this area at least.
- We would like to leave the existing wood joists exposed, so how will we air seal the roof area?
- The existing parapets will have to be extended because of the increased thickness (min 8″ insulation and min 6″ for the green roof). To avoid a thermal bridge we will probably use Autoclave Aerated Concrete.
(this list will continue to grow…!)