Historic modern house renovated to Passivhaus standard | The Architecture of the City | Scoop.it

A mantra here is that "the greenest building is the one already standing." There have been far too many posts about the loss of yet another Paul Rudolph houseor the razing of yet another brutalist classic. Often it is claimed that modern buildings are energy sinkholes and are impossible to modernize.

Then there is the Williams-Levant house, built by architect and former Frank Lloyd Wright employee Barry Byrne in 1934 for the pianist/ comedian Oscar Levant in Westport, Connecticut. It not only has been saved and modernized, but it actually has been renovated to Passivhaus standards, no easy feat, by Doug Mcdonald of Mudagreen.com, with Ken Levenson and Gregory Duncan as Passive House consultant...

 

The original Passivhaus standard was designed for new construction, with siting and sun angles being an important consideration. You can't do much about that in a renovation, so a special standard, EnerPHit, was developed by the German Passivhaus Institute. It calls for a reduction in thermal bridges, improved air tightness, high quality windows and a LOT of insulation, resulting in energy savings of between 75 and 90%...

 

Read the complete article for more on the strategies employed in the modernization of this historic structure.


Via Lauren Moss