A four story plus cellar townhouse built in 1931 with extensive water damage on all floors was retrofitted into an energy-efficient home by Baxt Ingui Architects with the help of a Lamilux Skylight and Exit Hatch. Featured in CNN’S The Global Energy Challenge, Michael Ingui explains the basics of a Passive House on CNN Business online. Speaking on old homes, Ingui emphasizes to CNN that old homes can be full of charm, but lack in energy efficiency, particularly in thermal quality, showing when heating and cooling bills arrive. "You've got these beautiful old homes, and they really perform horribly". They leak air, release heat and allow pollutants and allergens in. Many have bulky, noisy radiators that take up a lot of floor space. Since many old homes have poorly insulated exterior walls, the radiator is putting 40% of its energy into heating the floor and exterior wall before it even heats the interior of the house, Ingui said.
A large skylight in the roof above enlarged stair openings allows for light to cascade down through the center of the townhouse. You would never know this is a high performance building if it weren’t for the sense of quiet, the freshness of the interior air, and the drastically reduced energy usage.