Passive House - Gramercy Townhouse

City’s First Passive Apartments in
the heart of NYC.

Gramercy Townhouse is a Passive House

Gramercy Townhouse was conceptualized as a unique New York Airbnb that would offer a vacation rental home to visitors who share our strong connection to the natural environment and our commitment to energy conservation. Despite its urban setting, the townhouse has a symbiotic relationship with nature. Our accredited environmental strategy, ethical suppliers, and environmentally friendly approach are evident inside and outside our luxury apartment rental. Step in to the garden and gaze up at our decades old fifty foot Christmas tree, and you immediately see our philosophy.

Maintaining responsible, energy efficient, ecologically-minded design, as well as Passive House construction, are the primary objectives of Gramercy Townhouse. The architecture and systems provide unparalleled indoor environmental quality within a luxury setting, while also ensuring the highest levels of energy efficiency and resource conservation. The building’s steel frame is insulated and the windows are triple glazed, with passive certification, thus exceeding all energy conservation standards. We consistently surpass the parameters of low carbon imprint construction.

We Conserve Energy
and leave a Minimal
Carbon Imprint.

Healthy Air and Respiration
Friendly Environment.

Super Silent
Interiors.

You are wondering—what is a passive house? From the outside, a passive house may be indistinguishable from any other, and indeed this very subtlety is one of its most appealing qualities. The principle of the passive house was first pioneered in the 1970s (and finally completed in the 1990s by Dr. Wolfgang Feist) as a way to maximize thermal and acoustic efficacy while also ensuring the freshest possible air. In other words, a passive house is superbly insulated, incredibly quiet, and maintains optimal air quality—all while expending minimal energy. The word “passive” indicates that this design strategy drastically curtails a building’s carbon footprint by reducing energy usage by up to 90%. The passive house utilizes 5 core components: an absolutely airtight enclosure, a continuous insulated exterior (almost like an envelope), solar orientation, high performance windows and doors, and an active High Efficiency Heat Recovery Ventilation System which continuously filters airflow. Unlike most hotels in New York, for which frequent turnover also promotes wastefulness and the excess use of harmful chemicals, the passive house creates a sustainable, clean living environment that is also supremely comfortable, and healthy.

Our Design Team

Gramercy Townhouse was designed by the New York–born Cho Shields architect team, now based in Brooklyn. In Cho is a founder of ChoShields Studio, a multi-disciplinary architectural firm that specializes in forging connections between individuals and their environments. The 4500 foot townhouse was designed to showcase the vibrancy of New York, with modern design and décor, yet to maintain its organic connection with the land and place. Owner Sudha Sahai designed the interiors with this same ethos, always keeping what mattered in sight—guest comfort. This is a Passive House, but first and foremost, a luxury vacation rental in NYC. The sourcing decisions and purchases were made from suppliers who follow environmental standards, who are fair trade employers, and who manufacture domestically. Every item in the townhouse—from large furniture pieces like the sofa beds to small items such as our bath amenities—underwent a rigorous selection process. The entire staff tested many local shampoos and soaps until we found one that won every vote.

Sudha Sahai on Passive House Concept

Characteristics of a Passive House by Cho Shields

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