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Passive-House Remodel in A Historic Neighborhood

A century-old bungalow is renovated to maintain its original character while achieving Passive-House certification.

Just outside of downtown Austin, Texas, our 1914 Craftsman-style home is a case study for Passive House renovation, achieving PHIUS+ 2018 Certification and PHIUS+ Source Zero Certification in a hot, humid climate. This renovation fulfilled both a personal and professional mission. My wife, Adrienne, and I bought the house more than a decade ago after falling in love with the neighborhood. We were always thinking about what it could be and planned to update it. Given my experience as an architect at Forge Craft Architecture + Design, and with Adrienne’s emphasis on healthy and sustainable interiors at her firm, Studio Ferme, we saw this as our opportunity to demonstrate the possibilities for a small, healthful, high-performance home.

Together, we improved the building envelope, which lacked insulation; added square footage with a modern addition; and created a flexible floor plan that matched our young family’s lifestyle while maintaining the integrity of the historical structure. Electrification is a priority for any Passive House project, so we also added a 6.3kw PV array and battery backup.

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