The passive house has come to NYC, an ecofriendly certification that originated in Germany and was popularized in northern Europe. Passive homes use 60-70% less energy and 90% less heat than traditional buildings, achieving this efficiency with hyper-insulated walls, triple-glazed windows and engineering the whole building airtight.
In Prospect Heights, 96 St. Marks Avenue is under heavy renovation to become the first multifamily house to be certified. Passive House Institute US certifies homes meeting the standard, and it is different from LEED designation in that the passive house is about optimizing what needs to be built, not solar panels, etc.
Although about 15 projects are planned or under way in New York and passive house-trained local architects are growing in numbers, there are several factors inhibiting widespread popularity. Budgets for passive projects can run up to 10% more, with homeowners reaping the energy efficiency benefits rather than developers. Also difficult from a development perspective is requirements for certification can’t be tested until almost done.
Source: New York Magazine
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