Growth of Passive House Standard in New York

 

NY Times launches Passive House above the fold in Real Estate section

New York City’s rapid embrace of the Passive House Standard for comfort, health, and energy efficiency made The New York Times cover story in its Real Estate section on Sunday, March 29, 2015.

Duncan Architect is the Passive House consultant for a senior residence with a pre-K on the ground floor. This project is one of those featured in the Times article.

 A social services organization, the Hellenic American Neighborhood Action Committee or Hanac, has also jumped on the passive-construction bandwagon for its eight-story 68-unit senior housing development, to be completed in Queens in summer 2017, said John Napolitano, Hanac’s director of community development and planning.

Part of the allure of passive house is the ability to withstand some of the effects of power cuts, he said.

“We’ve had several blackouts, and keeping the seniors in their homes during those periods, in an environment where we can maintain thermal controls in the units for a period of at least five days without disturbance, resonates with us,” Mr. Napolitano said. “We can do that with passive house.”

“The Passive House in New York” NY Times

New York Passive House reviewed the article

NY Passive House (NYPH) is particularly proud of this article because it features a range of work by NYPH members, including:  Stephen Lynch of Caliper Studio, 255 Columbia Street by Ben Igoe of JBS Project Management & Sam Bargetz of LoadingDock5, Steve Bluestone of the Bluestone Organization, HANAC senior housing with consulting by Greg Duncan of Duncan Architect, and Michael Ingui of Baxt Ingui Architects.

and followed up with more information about the upcoming conferences in Germany and New York City. Greg Duncan will be going to the International Passive House Conference in Leipzig, Germany on April 16 and the New York Passive House Conference on June 11.

Duncan Architect is glad to be able to help people jump on the “passive-construction bandwagon,” especially on a project like the HANAC senior housing that will be such a benefit to the community in Corona, Queens.

 

 

 

Brooklyn Passive House Video

Brooklyn Independent Television features the energy-efficient retrofit condo, 96 St. Marks Avenue, that I consulted on for architect Ken Levenson. See the Passive House Buildings Project Data Sheet for technical information and haus96.com for the marketing website. Located in a historic district in Prospect Heights, this townhouse renovation combines historic preservation and modern technology for a beautiful, comfortable living space with extremely low heating costs. Comfort is assured by the quality of the building fabric and by giving the owner of each unit control over their own heating, air conditioning, and fresh-air ventilation. This type of retrofit serves as a model for future real estate development in New York City and beyond.

Please contact Gregory Duncan Architect for more information.

Passive House Tours November 10 and 11

Gregory Duncan Architect is proud to have three Passive House projects open for tours as part of the International Passive House Days on November 10 and 11.

Saturday, Nov 10:

Brooklyn, NY: Haus 96, the first condo building in the United States to be retrofit with Passive House components and methodology.

Sunday, Nov 11:

Westport, CT: Retrofit of a derelict, energy-guzzling single-family house designed in the International Style in the 1930’s by a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright. “Their effort continues the spirit of technical innovation embodied by the original design,” according to the Westport Historic District Commission, which gave the house a Preservation Award.

Brooklyn, NY: Commercial retrofit of a 7000 SF warehouse for the Hatzolah Central non-profit ambulance dispatch service. See the project under construction as the Passive House windows and doors are being installed.

See the New York Passive House site for more tour information.

Tour Multifamily Passive House in Brooklyn

Haus 96, the first multifamily Passive House retrofit building in Brooklyn, will be open for guided tours on Saturday, November 10, 2012. This project proves that historic preservation, comfort, healthy indoor air, and dramatically reduced energy costs are compatible.

Duncan Architect performed the energy modeling for this project for architect Ken Levenson. Building science geeks may appreciate the following data:

  • Heat Demand 27 kWh/m²a
  • Cooling Demand 5 kWh/m²a
  • Primary (Source) Energy Demand 111 kWh/m²a
  • Airtightness 1.98 ACH50

See New York Passive House’s listing of upcoming tours for more information.

 

Multifamily Passive House Buildings in New York

The most obvious benefit of the Passive House standard is a dramatic reduction in energy costs. Using the Passive House design methodology and energy-modeling software, architects can save building owners up to 90% on heating costs compared to a typical existing building. In addition buildings built to this standard have superior thermal comfort—warm in winter and cool in summer with no drafts. A side benefit of using high-performance windows and air sealing is reduced noise from the street and from neighboring apartments. The proper architectural details can provide for acoustic insulation and energy efficiency.

Rental Buildings

Due to the expense of submetering and market expectations, owners of multifamily rental buildings in New York usually pay for heating their tenant’s apartments in addition to the common areas. By law landlords are required to provide heat between October 1 and May 31. This can be a significant expense, so developers often ask their architects to design energy-efficient buildings.

Condo Buildings

Tenants in condominium buildings often have their own heating equipment in the unit and are responsible for their own heating bills. One of the reasons condo buyers are attracted to green buildings is that they can save a lot of money on their utility bills. If the energy savings are significant, as with a certified Passive House building,  the developer’s initial investment will pay off with a higher sales price.

Townhouses

As an architect who has worked on townhouses in Brooklyn and Queens, as well as larger apartment buildings in Manhattan, Gregory Duncan understands the potential this type of building has for huge increases in comfort and energy savings. See our article on Passive House in New York City which explains how this green building standard is in many ways easier to achieve in New York than many other places.

Of course, the Passive House energy-efficiency standard applies to commercial and single-family houses as well. So, no matter what building type you are planning, a Certified Passive House Designer can help you make it better.

Email Greg Duncan at greg@duncanarchitectpllc.com to get started.

New York State Energy Incentives

There are several energy-efficiency incentive programs in New York State:

In addition to the NY State incentives, the US Treasury Department is providing grants through the 1603 Program to commercial properties for renewable energy.

I’ll be updating this list with more programs, including non-profit incentives.  Suggestions in the comments are welcome.