Energy Efficiency

The best way to reduce operating costs and improve comfort and health is to take a fabric-first approach to energy efficiency in buildings. Optimal levels of insulation, high-performance windows, and a tight building enclosure work together to create a building that needs very little energy to maintain comfortable temperatures. Fresh air is provided by breezes from open windows or filtered through a heat recovery ventilator.

See Thermal Protection Works on Passipedia


LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely-recognized green building certification system in the United States. There are several LEED rating systems:

  • Homes
  • Commercial Interiors
  • Core & Shell
  • New Construction
  • Schools, Healthcare, Retail
  • Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance

LEED covers a very broad spectrum of green building, including:

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy & Atmosphere
  • Indoor Environmental Quality

while Passive House focuses on energy efficiency and indoor air quality. The two systems are complementary; the Passive House concept is an excellent way to design a building that will achieve LEED’s Energy & Atmosphere and Indoor Environmental Quality points.

Gregory Duncan is a LEED Accredited Professional for Building Design and Construction and a member of Urban Green Council, the NYC chapter of the USGBC.

Passive House

A building standard that is truly energy efficientcomfortableaffordable and ecological at the same time.
Passive House is not a brand name, but a construction concept that can be applied by anyone and that has stood the test of practice.  Passipedia

What are the benefits of the Passive House standard?
  • Increase your personal comfort
    • Stable temperature: warm in winter and cool in summer
    • No loud window or wall A/C units
    • No drafts or cold spots
    • Less street noise
  • Improve your return on investment
    • Low operating costs
    • Better cash flow for investment properties
    • Very low utility bills
  • Do less harm to the environment
    • Reduce your carbon footprint
    • Pollute less
  • Improve your indoor air quality
    • Filter outdoor fresh air and distribute it throughout the building
    • Exhaust stale air from kitchens and bathrooms
    • Reduce the risk of mold
    • Reduce potential allergens and asthma triggers
What goes into a Passive House building?
  • A highly accurate, predictive energy model proven by thousands of built Passive House structures
  • Architects use the Passive House energy model to optimize the insulation, windows, and mechanical systems in response to the unique needs of the project
What building types benefit from the Passive House standard?
  • New construction and renovation projects
    • Schools
    • Commercial buildings
    • Multifamily apartment and condominium buildings
    • Single family houses
How do I get a Passive House certified building?
  • Work with a Certified Passive House Designer (CPHD)
  • Your CPHD will provide the necessary overall design, details, and energy model for certification, tailored to your individual situation
  • Finally your CPHD will obtain certification for your building from a certification agency such as the Passive House Academy.