Westchester Passive Retrofit


Conditioned Floor Area

5,037 ft2

Surface Area / Floor Area Ratio (Ext. Surface/Floor):


Floor Area / Volume Ratio: (A/V):


Total ‘Primary Energy’ (kWh/yr)

26,184 / 66% precent reduction compared to pre-renovation home

Heat Demand (kWh/a)

11,216 / 79% precent reduction compared to pre-renovation home

Cooling Demand (kWh/a)

3,324 15% precent reduction compared to pre-renovation home

Peak Heat Load (Btuh)

29,474 / 75% precent reduction compared to pre-renovation home

Designed to meet EnerPHit by Component

Not fully realized

This project in Pound Ridge, NY, is architecture firm BarlisWedlick’s first retrofit Passive House renovation—an upgrade to a family’s forever home. Constructed in the 1980s and using innovative techniques of the era, specifically structural insulated panels (SIPs) over its timber frame structure, the home has accommodated the growing family since the late 1990s.

With a complete rethinking of the interior layout, BarlisWedlick and Olson Twombly Interiors developed a masterplan for the 8,694 sq. ft. home, which was completed in phases, so that it could be fully occupied during the majority of its construction. BarlisWedlick used the EnerPHit process and implemented Passive House detailing in order to bring the home up to today’s energy efficient standards.

The project allows its dwellers and visitors to experience all the benefits Passive House has to offer, while respecting its original timber structure. Reducing the house’s primary energy by 66%, the home features a new highly insulated envelope with new hardwood rainscreen siding. The home incorporates fully replaced airtight triple-pane insulated windows and exterior doors, plus an added air-tight insulated envelope around the existing structure.

The roof was treated from the inside with critical airtight connections, while solar PV panels and a backup battery system have been integrated to strive toward the owners’ desire to be net-zero. The foundation walls were insulated by way of excavation, and special attention was paid towards air sealing the home’s chimneys and three fireplaces—as well as a Dutch oven originally used for cooking.

BarlisWedlick found creative ways to tie together the various aspects of the home. The family’s typical daily entry path through the garage was highlighted with a re-designed opened mudroom, connecting the new front porch to the rear porch, without sacrificing storage space. A daily workspace is also included in the mudroom.

The front entry is open to the rest of the home and is highlighted with a new staircase clad with the same materials as the staircase to the third-floor family room. This continuity serves to visually connect the first through third floors effectively enlarging the home’s perceived space. The redesigned kitchen accommodates the family’s love of cooking and is laid out to provide protected workspaces allowing guests to stay connected, while large southern windows increase the light flow throughout.

Project Team:

Architect: Barlis Wedlick Architects LLC

Passive House Consultant: bldgtyp llc

Structural Engineer: Proper & O’Leary Engineering, dpc

Interiors: Olson Twombly Interior Design

Construction Manager: Cornerstone Contracting

Solar Paneling: Sunrise Solar

Photographer: Neil Landino

Project Website


Categories: project, mixed, timber, Retrofit