Passive DER of 19th Century Row House

Event Date: 

Friday, June 23, 2017


Bridgeport, PA


Bridgeport, PA

CEU Information: 

CEUs: 3.0 AIA LU/HSW; 2.0 BPI; certificates of attendance provided to all attendees

Cost: $25 for NESEA Members, $35 for Non-members

This project was featured as NESEA's first BuildingEnergy Pro Tour in Pennsylvania: a deep-energy retrofit of an 1898 brick row house, renovated for Passive House EnerPHit certification and energized by a "Powerwall" of retired BMW Mini E batteries.

This project serves as a prime example of how aging housing stock in the northeast, such as row-houses from the industrial age, can be reimagined as comfortable, sustainable homes in the modern era.

With the Reid House retrofit,  the architectural team at Bright Common aimed to create livable, highly-efficient age-in-place housing. Beyond the considerations for Passive House certification, anticipated occupant needs and behavior drove design decisions including: sound attenuation with acoustic separation from streets and neighbors, ample garden space, safety and resiliency in the event of a power outage, pet-friendly, community-based living, and simplicity of operation for the occupants.

Some of the goals were met by repurposing unusual materials, some native to the original 19th century structure, and some distinctly modern. The design incorporates old growth, 120 year-old floor joints for the south side; and it also uses recycled BMW mini-hoods as awnings.

Attendees at this Pro Tour saw how unusual materials were paired to bring this row house up to passive standards: the result is a comfortable, sunny home with excellent indoor air quality.

Site Details
  • 2,500 sq. ft
  • Passive House (pending certification)
  • Intus passive house windows
  • Sanden heat pump hot water heater with radiant heat option
  • Intello Plus smart vapor retarder inside of masonry wall and foam free flatroof
  • Solitex Mento membrane as WRB and dense pack netting in one
  • BMW Mini-hoods as awning
  • Solar/Lithium ion storage system, using BMW Mini batteries
  • Photovoltaic array meeting 100% of energy needs
  • Stokes Solar System charging batteries
  • EV Car Charging station
  • Zehnder HRV
  • Fujitsu Mini splits

12:30 PM

Doors open, registration and networking

1:00 PM

Welcome by NESEA

1:10 PM

Overview from project team

1:50 PM

Group travels together to project site

2:00 PM

Tour begins: attendees break into groups to rotate through content-specific stations


3:50 PM

Group reconvenes & heads back to meeting point for reception

4:15 PM

Presentation, Q&A with members of project team

5:00 PM

Event concludes



2023 Pro Tour Series Sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor


Event Sponsors