The residence at 158 Clifton Place is a two-family row house in Brooklyn, New York. The structure was gut-renovated to the Passive House New York EnerPHit standard and supplemented with a Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Array to achieve near Net Zero energy capability. The building is a wood frame structure, which is rare in New York City. Some of the typical Passive House details used in other projects needed to be modified to account for different thermal and moisture conditions of the structure. As a retrofit, special consideration were required to air seal the building. Paul A. Castrucci, Architects PLLC developed air sealing details specifically for this project and followed up with contractors’ training and inspections to ensure proper installation.

The project at 158 Clifton Place uses recycled materials throughout. On the front façade, a reinterpretation of the historic vernacular is clad in blackened ship-lap siding.This process of burning the exterior of the wood – known as Shou Sugi Ban - protects it from the elements, making a wood façade that will be virtually maintenance free for decades. By applying the process to recycled wood that otherwise would be unsuitable for exterior use (Douglas Fir), the design made the best use of the material and prevented it from being discarded.

On the rear façade, wooden slats recycled from the Coney Island boardwalk create a modern rain screen that offers a stark contrast to the front façade, and showcase the diversity of reclaimed wood.The roof insulation is recycled polyiso, and the reclaimed wood was used throughout the interior. The 158 Clifton Place residence’s mechanical systems were designed to minimize energy use. High efficiency mini-split units heat and cool the apartments, and are much smaller than typical apartments due to the reduced heating and cooling loads. Hot water is supplied with heat pump hot water heaters; energy efficient appliances and LED lighting is used throughout. Finally, a 7.5kW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) array was installed on the roof.


In Progress Interior Details 

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In Progress Rear Exterior Details


First Floor Kitchen and living area

Master Bedroom area


Bedroom, 2nd Bathroom, Educational Space/Office and Mechanical System