The shotgun developed over time as a direct response to the hot humid climate of the region and eventually the long, narrow buildings became synonymous with housing in New Orleans. The simple roof forms, the gorgeous windows and shutters, the breezes captured, and the porches that promoted socializing with neighbors are undeniably the strongest traits of the shotgun typology. However, lately it seems the only requirement for a modern shotgun is a long narrow layout. Many houses built in The Ninth Ward lack the character that made the shotgun so successful in the first place. Shotgun Revisited: PH NOLA looks to marry the best traits of the shotgun homes with the best materials and building practices of the 21st century. PH NOLA demonstrates one possible strategy for achieving Passive House, the most stringent energy standard in America, while celebrating the traditional shotgun vernacular.
Building a Passive House in New Orleans presents unique challenges not dealt with in Northern climates, including; emphasis on cooling load, abating humidity both night and day, and preventing solar heat gain for most of the year. PH NOLA responds to these demands by adjusting the typical Passive House approach by reducing the thickness of wall assemblies; placing an added emphasis on removing latent heat (humidity) with the mechanical system; orientating public spaces to the North to allow for lots of natural light but no heat gain; and applying a radiant heat barrier to walls and roofs to prevent heat entering the home.
Shotgun Revisited: PH NOLA promotes cohesive neighborhoods by creating a layout that can be easily altered and adapted to produce myriad alternatives.