Last year, the 50-year-old buildings that now make up Weinberg Commons were neglected, run-down, and empty. The three-story, brick-and-block buildings date from an era when single-pane, aluminum frame windows were considered enough to protect the inhabitants from a cold winter. Today, the three buildings are award-winning examples of energy efficient design, and provide affordable, efficient housing for low-income families in Washington, D.C.
The buildings underwent intense retrofitting, designed to lower energy costs throughout the project, and ensure that one of the buildings meets the rigorous energy standard of Passive House (PHIUS+). The retrofit used energy efficient materials and extensive insulation under the roof and in the walls, designed to lower energy use for heating and cooling in the buildings by as much as 90 percent, and reduce its carbon footprint through its lifetime. Weinberg Commons is Washington, D.C.’s first multifamily Passive House and designed to approach net-zero energy consumption.
A black EPDM roofing membrane was chosen for its proven track record of long term performance, sustainability and energy-saving potential that the dark surface provides in colder, northern climates. The membrane helps meet the requirement to limit the amount of energy used to heat a square foot of living space on the coldest day of the year to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
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