This Week's Find: DC's First Passive Condos

  • April 11th 2019

by Nena Perry-Brown

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A kitchen at The Baptisia. Click to enlarge.

While DC has a handful of affordable developments that meet passive house standards, This Week's Find has the potential to be the city's first market-rate development to achieve Passive House certification.

Tanya Topolewski has designed and developed The Baptisia, a four-unit multi-family development at 523-525 Montana Avenue NE (map) in Edgewood, to achieve Passive House standards. A building designed to Passive House standards can achieve up to a 75 percent decrease in energy use compared to an existing home.

Living room. Click to enlarge.

Topolewski noted that the facets of the project that put it on the path to passive house standards are not necessarily the type that will go in a marketing brochure. For example, the 10-foot double stud walls are thickly insulated and create deep windowsills, and the entire project was specifically designed to be tightly air sealed including the party walls, roof trusses, windows and doors.  With solar panels, the building will enable the building to produce as much energy as it uses. 

Landing. Click to enlarge.

"The focus of the design process is dropping the heating and cooling load by super insulating the building envelope and building it ultra air tight," Topolewski said. "This can sometimes decrease the amount of energy needed to specifically heat and cool the building by 90% (without solar). With solar, the building may be able to produce as much energy as it consumes."

Bedroom. Click to enlarge.

Topolewski was part of the development team which delivered the District's first LEED platinum multifamily project and the region's first net-zero energy renovation. She will find out if this project achieved passive house certification in the coming months. 

Roof. Click to enlarge.

Two of the units hit the market this morning, listed with Phil Di Ruggerio of GreenLine Real Estate. The upper units, starting at $979,000, are 2,400 square-foot three-bedrooms with dens and 3.5 baths and also include a parking space and 1,200 square feet of outdoor space. The lower units, starting at $799,000, are 1,900 square-foot three-bedroom loft units with 3.5 baths, an included parking space and rear patios.

See other articles related to: passive houses, this week's find

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/this-weeks-find-dcs-first-passive-condos/15244.

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