Hundreds of architects, builders and advocates called for residential and commercial buildings of all sizes to consume 75 percent less energy in order to live up to so-called “passive house” standards at a convention yesterday.
The New York Passive House conference and expo at in the Flatiron district attracted both a local and international crowd of those interested in perfecting and popularizing the strict German specifications that make use of controlled ventilation, air-tight installation and innovative façade design to reduce energy costs and usage by massive amounts.
“If architecture is about generosity, then we are probably just doing our job,” said Sabrine Leribaux, an architect with a Brussels-based company called Architectes Associes that operates in a city where all new and significant renovations must adhere to passive standards starting in 2015, in a speech during the daylong event. She added afterwards, “You just have to lift that security lock. Passive house is not European. I grew up in Texas.”
Leribaux and Günter Lang, of the Vienna-based Lang Consulting, presented stunning pictures of completed passive house projects ranging from private homes to large-scale multifamily and commercial developments and passive office skyscrapers to show the prevalence of an architectural movement which they say is becoming the norm in Europe and ought to become the norm here in the city.