T2305 - Tiny Queens Passive House

Originally built in 1945, this two story brick townhouse represents our least material intensive intervention to date to turn an existing building into a certified Passive House.

We are focused on deconstruction, rather than demolition;  materials were carefully separated by type and sent to new homes. Thus ensuring that everything was upcycled or downcycled for additional use, rather than going to landfill.

The house was completely electrified and recieved a new solar canopy by Brooklyn Solarworks on the rooftop. Teaming up with the new Passive House envelope, this renders it Net Positive, with the solar array providing more than enough energy to cover the significantly reduced heating and cooling loads of the building, in addition to heating water, cooking with an induction stovetop and charging an electric vehicle.

Read more about the project in this NYT Article.

Existing openings in the masonry facade previously used for through-wall air conditioning units were used for the new ERV system, and a checkerboard brick infill pattern pays tribute for all exterior changes in the building facade.

All south facing openings received new operable exterior shades by Hella to keep the hot summer sun out before it can heat up the house.


Only the perimeter of the existing wood flooring and subfloors were removed in order to taped and air-seal the existing wood joists and to install the airtight membrane, keeping the existing floor build-up, which was good condition, otherwise intact. To commemorate this move, we installed the new wood perimeter at an angle to the existing, and used reclaimed local red oak to match what wa
s already there.⁠
The material palette for the retrofit is made up of natural materials, which include a lime and sand-based plaster layer forming the initial natural vapor retarder on the interior, while ensuring the porous masonry wall can breathe and dry-out.

Linoleum - a completely natural floor covering made of solidified linseed oil, pine resin and sawdust - provides the new softer finish underfoot in the kitchen, and porcelain slabs are used for the kitchen countertops and backsplash.  Of course the palette includes abundant carbon storing wood, sourced reclaimed whenever possible.

Architect: CO Adaptive

MEPS Engineers: ABS Engineering

Structural Engineers: ADoF Structural Engineers

Construction Manager: CO Adaptive Building

Solar Panel Installation: Brooklyn SolarWorks

Building 303, Suite 603, 63 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11205