Achieving a carbon-neutral built environment is going to require deep energy retrofits of somewhere around 3% of the building stock annually—a big step up in most areas. How do we get there? This retrofit special issue delivers a constellation of answers, from multiple programs that are designed to industrialize retrofit processes to architectural firms honing retrofit practices to individually tailored retrofit solutions. Dive in to find a wide array of key retrofit expertise, resources, and featured projects from all over North America to even Innsbruck, Austria.
Articles in this Issue
The Retrofit Issue: Revitalizing Communities
Director of Publications Mary James on Retrofits.
Innovation in an Era of Mission
As Paul Hawken describes in his 2007 bestseller, Blessed Unrest, there is overwhelming evidence that we are living through a self-imposed, and accelerating, mass extinction.
Case Study: Hawthorne Youth and Community Center
Placetailor was engaged by the Hawthorne Youth and Community Center (HYCC) for a deep energy retrofit to both reduce energy bills and optimize operating funds.
Triple Decker Challenge: Fort Hill Solar District
A Solar District approach aggregates 25 neighborhood buildings for a combined output of 706,275 kWh/year, with the net excess available to a third-party purchaser (e.g. City of Boston).
Ultra-Low-Carbon Hot Water and Space Conditioning
Harvest Thermal is about to launch a new controller for home heating and hot water that takes advantage of abundant midday carbon-free electricity to dramatically reduce residential emissions and lower customers’ bills.
Practical Retrofit Support in New York
For many years, New York State has been a strong advocate for programs that decarbonize its existing energy grid
Passive Rowhouse Manual: Summer 2021 Release!
If you are looking to renovate a rowhome as sustainably as possible, then you will want to know about the soon-to-be-released Passive Rowhouse Manual.
Transform Your Building into a Negawatt Power Plant Through MEETS
When we transform poorly performing buildings into Passive House buildings, the benefits that result are numerous.
Green Mortgage Pilot in Vermont, and Beyond
Financing can be the trickiest part of the deep energy retrofit equation. The EnergyFirst Mortgage, now in its pilot phase, is a green mortgage program designed to solve that aspect of the equation.
Hotel Marcel Opening Its Passive House Doors
The city of New Haven, Connecticut is home to many firsts. Yale, the first university in the state, calls New Haven home and was founded in 1701.
The Many-Armed Reach of REALIZE
RMI, a long-time proponent of tunneling through efficiency cost barriers, has turned its characteristic expertise toward flattening the market barriers that impede zero-carbon building retrofits.
REALIZE-CA: Retrofit Solutions in California
RMI Case study
The Reframed Initiative
Delivering Model Solutions
Financing for Bundled Home Upgrades
Home Performance with Energy Star
Experiences in large-scale retrofits
The Sinfonia project was initiated in 2014 to implement large-scale, integrated, and scalable energy solutions in mid-sized European cities over a six-year period.
A Cooperative Retrofit
Jane Sanders/Albemarle Co-op
Northeast Multifamily Retrofit
Inspired by Energiesprong, an innovative industrialized zero-energy retrofit approach developed in the Netherlands, REALIZE is combining demand aggregation and supply chain coordination to deploy prefabricated retrofit systems that are easy and fast to install and can ultimately be financed through utility cost savings.
Prefabricated Exterior Energy Retrofits
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
Triple Decker Design Challenge
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is committed to helping MA meet 2050 climate goals using Passive House retrofits as climate action
The Back Stack: MassCEC case study
MERGE Architects wrote that their solution serves “as a model for how these iconic New England dwellings can also become energy efficient” in addition to spatially efficient.
TDC Passive House Retrofit Toolkit: MassCEC case study
The TDC Passive House Retrofit Toolkit design by Zephyr Architects won best Triple Decker Retrofit Design and a $25,000 prize in MassCEC’s Triple Decker Design Challenge.
Making Cents of Carbon: MassCEC case study
The Making Cents of Carbon design by Alison Nash, sustainability practice leader at DiMella Shaffer, with consultant James Costanzo of RW Sullivan won in the “Bring Your Own Building” category of MassCEC’s Triple Decker Design Challenge.
ReCOVER Gains Momentum
The ReCover Initiative pilots Passive House retrofits
Update on an Ambitious Pittsburgh Passive House Development
This Passive House retrofit by Bridging the Gap Development incorporates deep energy retrofit and new Passive House build.
PA Wilds Passive House Retrofit Nears the Finish Line
In November 2021 a small commercial Passive House retrofit building, dubbed The Wilds, will be completed in the northern Pennsylvania town of Kane.
High School to Affordable Housing
Grow House Benefits
Legalization is coming. Once a central battleground in the United States’ decades-long culture war, cannabis advocates seem to have won the battle over public opinion.
Horseshoe Shop to Cozy Office
River Architects take this Passive House retrofit to the next level.
Carroll Center Passive House Retrofit
Tom Bassett-Dilley Architects completed a Source Zero addition and renovation project for the Park District of Oak Park. The result? A deep energy Passive House retrofit for the community.
An Historic Renovation: ReBuilding Inward
Finally, we became determined to undertake a Passive House retrofit. We knew the retrofit would be full of unusual challenges, and we haven’t been disappointed in that regard.