How This Wilkinsburg Home Achieved ‘Milestone’ Sustainability

How This Wilkinsburg Home Achieved ‘Milestone’ Sustainability


After residing in her Wilkinsburg residence for practically 15 years, Penny Anderson determined to use her curiosity in energy-efficient buildings to her personal residing house.

In February 2021, Anderson commissioned a Sewickley-based architectural agency Studio Saint Germain to remodel the previous storefront of a 700 sq. foot bed room right into a passive home. Development of the home started in Might and is predicted to be accomplished early subsequent 12 months.

As she received older, Anderson says she additionally wished to make the restricted house in her residence extra accessible.

“I had a protracted curiosity in energy-efficient buildings, and after I determined I wished to remain in my tiny home as I received older, I knew it took numerous work,” she says. “I wished to develop previous with out having to cope with contractors over and over, so I assumed, ‘Properly, why not simply do the entire mission now? “”

Wilkinsburg Passive House Image 02

Past renovating the house so it has extra open house, Nathan St. Germain, founding father of Studio St. Germain and authorized passive home advisor, says his hope is that Anderson’s residence would be the first single-family residence in Pennsylvania to win a Passive Home EnerPHit Certification.

EnerPHit certification is a normal established by the Passive House Institute in Germany for current buildings which favors power effectivity, thermal insulation and airtightness. Anderson’s residence might be powered by photo voltaic electrical energy to cut back its carbon footprint, St. Germain stated.

He says the house’s power consumption might be near zero and the air high quality will even profit Anderson, because the house may have a big capability HVAC system together with an power restoration ventilator. and a variable refrigerant movement; this may substitute the necessity for an oven. He provides that the house may have a whole-house water filtration and conditioning system, a lighting management system and an array of rooftop photo voltaic panels.

“The power restoration ventilator may have outdoors air drawn into the system from outdoors and filtered,” he says. “So you will have a steady movement of recent air into the constructing from outdoors.”

Wilkinsburg Passive House Image 03

When collaborating with Studio St. Germain on her residence’s new design, Anderson says she wished giant home windows so the house might have loads of pure mild. She additionally determined that as a substitute of getting a bed room, she would use the house for social gatherings.

“What I wanted was a sleeping space and never losing house in a bed room that might be was a social house, as a result of I actually like having individuals in the home,” she says. . “I am an beginner musician and I like individuals to return alongside and sing and play their devices whereas sitting in a circle, which you could not actually do in my meager front room earlier than.”

The transform will even permit Anderson to have a walk-in closet and walk-in closet hooked up to the toilet. Outdoors, the carport may have a renewable photo voltaic panel system, in addition to an electrical car charging station.

St. Germain says he hopes incomes EnerPHit certification by way of this mission will pave the way in which for extra sustainable houses within the Pittsburgh space.

“I believe it might be an enormous step that these ranges of efficiency and sustainability might be achieved in pre-existing buildings,” he says. “This might be an actual step ahead in the way forward for sustainability for the area.”

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