Michael Ingui, Baxt Ingui Architects: PH Plus Retrofit in NYC Landmark District

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Michael Ingui, Baxt Ingui Architects principal and Passive House Accelerator founder, presented on retrofitting a historic masonry townhouse to meet the Passive House Plus standard in what amounted to a 4‑in‑1 Happy Hour deal. Michael talked the audience through this first Passive House Plus project in a landmark district, including the process he uses to persuade a client to embark on such an ambitious goal. Hint: check out his slides detailing classic townhouse problems like air entering the living spaces drawn through such creepy areas as secondary cracks in a neighbor’s flue or leaky pipes coming from the boiler.

Eoin Killeen, president of Kleen Construction, weighed in with how, four years after his introduction to Passive House, he now regularly achieves 0.5 ACH50 and was even persuaded to reveal just how confident he’s become about hitting that target.

Cory Herrala, director of preservation at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, then joined Michael to share tips on incorporating environmental and technological advancements that don’t affect a building’s historic features. The commission recently released a guidebook that should be very helpful for those involved in historic preservation efforts, which can be downloaded here.

An important point that Michael stressed was relying on Passive House consultants to derisk details in a retrofit or even a new construction project. John Mitchell, a consultant with bldgtyp, gave a comprehensive overview of his process from the initial meeting with the architect, builder, mechanical engineer, and structural engineer to hash out problems to the final documents needed for certification. Watch it all the way to the end.