Board of Directors


Stas Zakrzewski

President

View Bio

Stas Zakrzewski
Stas Zakrzewski is a NYC Architect whose work focuses on integrating sustainable practices into traditional design thinking. As a multiyear board member of New York Passive House, Stas has been active in advocating for the Passive House standard with local government and regulatory agencies. Most recently this work has included meeting with LPC officials and window manufacturers to facilitate inclusion of Passive House Windows at staff level. Stas has also had an active role in NYPH’s work with the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability. This outreach has aimed to catalyze the One City Built to Last report into Passive House development in the region. Beyond his work as a NYPH board member and committee chair, Stas is a principal at ZH Architects and has been a CPHD since 2011. ZH is currently working on several Passive House projects in the NYC region ranging from a 20 story residential high-­‐rise, to a 10 story mixed use condo, to single family homes. This range of work has been informative in understanding the hurdles and opportunities available from the current code and regulatory climate. Moving forward, Stas is excited to capitalize on recent developments and City mandates to further ease the way for Passive House construction.

Buck Moorhead

Vice President

View Bio

Buck Moorhead
Buck Moorhead is a licensed architect in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland and is an International Certified Passive House Designer (CPHD) and a North American Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC). Buck graduated from University of Virginia’s School of Architecture and designed structures with trombe walls, double wall houses, active solar hot water heaters funded by Jimmy Carter’s programs, and visited the sustainable community efforts in California and Oregon. Upon arriving in NYC in 1980, Buck worked initially with Proposition: Architecture,P.C., primarily on the adaptive reuse of existing commercial and manufacturing buildings to residential lofts in Lower Manhattan. Buck founded Buck Moorhead Architect in 1984. The firm has worked on a very diverse range of projects over the years, coming from Buck’s never-ending curiosity to design at different scales and within a variety of building types. Combining an academic background in economics, education, and linguistics from Worcester University and Boston University with over two decades of construction experience, he focuses on helping builders and architects transition from baseline practices to designing and building more responsibly, resulting in higher-performance, healthier, more efficient and comfortable homes built to Zero-Net-Energy and Passivhaus standards.

Thomas M. Harney

Treasurer

View Bio

Thomas M. Harney
Thomas M. Harney is CEO of Item Six Capital LLC based in New York and Bermuda. Item Six is a commercial real estate firm focused on value-added, energy-efficient, and sustainable private equity investments. From 2010 through March 2019 Mr. Harney was Head of Merchant Banking & Capital Markets and a member of the senior management team of Ladder Capital Corp, a publicly-traded commercial finance real estate investment trust (REIT) with $7 billion of assets and $2 billion of equity market capitalization traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LADR. Mr. Harney has over 35 years of experience in the commercial real estate finance & investment industries. He started his career in 1983 at Olympia & York Properties and subsequently held senior principal investment and investment banking roles at Merrill Lynch, Bankers Trust, and Bear Stearns. Mr. Harney served as Senior Managing Director of Bear Stearns’ Real Estate, Gaming, Lodging & Leisure Investment Banking Group during his 12 year tenure at the firm. Mr. Harney also served as Head of Real Estate at Tri-Artisan Capital Partners, a private merchant banking group based in New York. Mr. Harney served on Ladder’s Senior Management, Conduit, Disclosure, and Business Continuity Committees and currently serves as a board member of New York University’s REIT Center and New York Passive House. In addition, he has served as a trustee and Preservation Committee member of Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Mr. Harney holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania with concentrations in Urban Development & Architectural History, is a graduate of the New York University Real Estate Finance & Development Program, and holds a Master of Science degree in Construction Management from NYU. She holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Sofia, Bulgaria and a Master of Advanced Architectural Design degree from Columbia University in the city of New York. The opportunity to work with the typology that most intrigues her - the home - brought her to Los Angeles where, shortly after earning her California license Sfumato Architects was founded as a practice committed to design in harmony with place, site and climate, respectful of land and people. In alignment with its founding principles, Sfumato considers delivering highly energy efficient buildings a matter of standard practice and is dedicated to continuous learning, education and advocacy for sustainability.

Amy Failla

Secretary

View Bio

Amy Failla
Amy Failla is a Principal Architect at Baxt Ingui Architects, P.C. and has been with the firm since 2007. She has been an integral member to creating the firm’s systematic approach to building Passive House and has completed two certified EnerPhit single family projects. One of those two projects is the first Certified Passive House in a New York City Landmark District which was graciously awarded the AIA Brooklyn and Queens Design Award of Excellence and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Building Brooklyn Award for Historic Restoration. In her practice, she aims to balance the highest quality of design with sustainability and to work collaboratively with the clients, builders, and consultants to find innovative solutions to fulfill their needs. As a certified Passive House Designer (CPHD) she has been thoroughly involved in numerous Passive House educational events, conferences and seminars, some of which have been hosted by Baxt Ingui Architects.

Ulgur Aydin

Board Member

View Bio

Ulgur Aydin
Ulgur Aydin is a principal at KSK Construction Group. He is a registered professional engineer with over 30 years of experience as a construction manager. Ulgur has built 70 buildings totaling 4 million square feet in the New York area. He has worked on residential, hospitality, commercial, and institutional projects. As of December 2020, Ulgur has worked on three passive house buildings (251 Columbia Street in Brooklyn, 211 W 29th St Manhattan, and 511 E 86th St in Manhattan) with more than 200 units totaling 200,000 square feet. Ulgur holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from Columbia University in the City of New York. Ulgur is passionate about building passive houses in order to protect our Earth for generations to come.

Michael Bobkerer

Board Member

View Bio

Michael Bobkerer
Michael Bobker has over thirty years of experience as an energy engineer in NYC buildings, starting with solar DHW and rehab boiler installations in the South Bronx as part of a self-help community organization. He has served private and public clients with energy audit analysis and implementation of a wide range of energy efficiency practices and technologies from weatherization and window replacement to small-scale cogeneration and, most recently, a focus on HVAC controls. Throughout these engagements as a manager of energy services, he has been involved in training of in-house and client staff. From 2004–5 Mr. Bobker was a consultant to ACEEE for a NYSERDA-funded pilot introducing Retro-Commissioning into NYC. Based on this experience, he founded the Building Performance Lab at the City University of New York (CUNY), which he continues to direct, with the purpose of establishing a permanent center for the energy-saving enhancement of building operating practices. Mr. Bobker introduced the national Building Operator Certification program into NYC and, later, the Building Re-Tuning protocol. He has instructed these programs and managed their development and content. Related to the training of building operators, Mr. Bobker maintains a research interest in the effective utilization and up-grading of Building Automation Systems. Mr. Bobker holds Masters degrees in Anthropology and in Energy Management, is a Certified Energy Manager, and is active in both the Association of Energy Engineers and ASHRAE.

Caleb Crawford

Board Member

View Bio

Caleb Crawford
Caleb Crawford is an architect who constantly seeks to reconcile his loyalty to issues of energy and the environment with his dedication to design and the visual arts. He studied fine arts at the University of Michigan and film at Hunter College before completing a Bachelor of Architecture degree at Pratt Institute and a Master of Architecture degree at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). In 1996 he established Coggan + Crawford Architecture + Design with his partner Annie Coggan. In 2019 Coggan and he founded Chairs + Buildings Studio. Professor Crawford has been teaching since 1994, and has taught at Pratt Institute, Penn State, Mississippi State, the City College of New York, and the School of Visual Arts. Caleb is a registered architect in New York State, a LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design and Construction (LEED AP BD+C), and a Certified Passive House Designer (CPHD).

Joann Gonchar

Board Member

View Bio

Joann Gonchar
Joann Gonchar, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, is a senior editor at Architectural Record. She joined the magazine in 2006, after eight years at its sister publication Engineering News-Record. She was also a key member of the founding editorial team for the sustainable design publication, GreenSource. Before starting her career as a journalist, Joann worked for several U.S. architects and spent three years in Kobe, Japan, with the firm Team Zoo, Atelier Iruka. She earned a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University. She is licensed to practice architecture in New York State.

Bomee Jung

Board Member

View Bio

Bomee Jung
For more than 17 years, Bomee Jung has contributed to New York City’s climate leadership through policy and programmatic innovations. After joining the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) as the inaugural Vice President for Energy and Sustainability in 2015, she developed the NextGeneration NYCHA Sustainability Agenda, public housing’s most ambitious 10-year strategic sustainability plan. Under her leadership, NYCHA embarked on a $700 million program of Energy Performance Contracts, launched a large-scale community solar program with the goal of siting 25 megawatts on NYCHA properties, and funded a $300 million Waste Management Plan to make NYCHA properties free of visible garbage, litter, and pests. NYCHA is actively pursuing (or has already implemented) smart ACs, passive house retrofits, pneumatic waste collection systems, and building electrification for heat and hot water. Prior to NYCHA, Bomee designed and led the climate mitigation and adaptation programs of the New York office of Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., including securing New York City’s adoption of the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria as its green standard for affordable housing, and designing Enterprise’s post-Sandy resiliency initiative to build climate adaptation capacity of multifamily affordable housing owners. In 2003, Bomee co-founded GreenHomeNYC, Inc., a volunteer-driven nonprofit that brings professional green-building knowledge to lay audiences while supporting new entrants to green careers. In her first career, she developed Internet-based applications for digital agencies and start-ups. Bomee holds a Master in City Planning degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature and Japanese from the University of Georgia.

Todd Kimmel,

Board Member

View Bio

Todd Kimmel,
Todd Kimmel, CPHD (Certified Passive House Designer), CDT, is the New York City Architectural Manager for ROCKWOOL Insulation. Todd has over 18 years of technical experience working on building enclosures and façade systems. This includes the management and oversight of large-scale commercial building enclosures, working as the product and technical manager for Trespa® North America, and as a Technical Consultant for Dörken Systems. Todd is a Construction Documents Technician (CDT), a Certified Passive House Consultant (Passive House Institute) and currently sits on the board for New York Passive House (NYPH). He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University and a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.

George Kontaroudis

Board Member

View Bio

George Kontaroudis
George Kontaroudis earned his Master of Architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London and his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Lincoln where he discovered his passion for sustainability. He is a licensed architect in New York State and Greece, and is a member of AIA and the Technical Chamber of Greece. He holds the LEED GA credential and is a Certified Passive House Designer. He practices as a project manager at Morris Adjmi Architects where he also heads the Sustainability Committee. He currently leads a number of large scale projects and designed MA’s first Passive House building. George also serves as a board member to the Greek Institute of Architects in New York, and teaches at the New School.

Spencer Orkus

Board Member

View Bio

Spencer Orkus
Spencer Orkus is a Managing Director at L+M Development Partners and has been with the company since 2007. He has developed approximately 3,000 affordable units within various mixed-use new construction projects totaling over $1.5 billion. Prior to joining L+M, Spencer worked as a licensed structural engineer for DeSimone Consulting Engineers designing high-rise residential buildings and other structures. He has a BA and MA in architectural engineering from Penn State University as well as an MA in real estate from New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. He is co-chair of the NYSAFAH policy committee and serves on the Hastings on Hudson waterfront zoning committee.

Carmel Pratt

Board Member

View Bio

Carmel Pratt
As Director of New Construction, New York at Bright Power, Carmel manages teams working on ground-up new construction, rehabilitation, and commissioning projects. She directs long-term strategic planning for the new construction division and helps cultivate client relationships. Carmel provides oversight for high impact, unique projects that require deep experience, technical guidance, and detail. She speaks regularly at industry conferences and volunteers with educational institutions to mentor students interested in sustainability and building science. Prior to joining Bright Power, Carmel served as the Sustainability Director at The Levy Partnership, where she led a team performing a variety of sustainability services, as well as research and development projects. Prior to that, she spent years as a consultant and field technician at Steven Winter Associates, notably having performed the final blower door testing at The House at Cornell Tech.

Staff


Andreas M. Benzing

Executive Director

View Bio

Andreas M. Benzing
Andreas M. Benzing is a practicing architect, teacher, and social entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of New York Passive House, and in 2015 received the prestigious Urban Green Council’s National EBie Award "Power to the People" in recognition of the greatest percentage reduction in building energy use. Mr. Benzing was appointed by the Department of Buildings Commissioner to serve on the 2015 and 2019 New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) Residential Advisory Committee, and served on Manhattan`s Community Board 5, Land Use & Zoning committee. As founder and Senior Partner of a.m.Benzing architects pllc, he personally directs the design of each of the firm's projects. Mr. Benzing developed his tireless work ethic at the famous Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany, where he received his Master of Architecture degree in 1998. He was awarded the European Erasmus Scholarship and studied architecture with Professor Giorgio Grassi at the Politecnico di Milano. Mr. Benzing established his career at O.M.Ungers, and Hans Kollhoff in Berlin, Germany learning the craft of the architectural profession. He founded a.m.Benzing architects pllc in 2006 with the expressed goal of integrating high performance Passive House building systems with architectural excellence. Mr. Benzing is a distinguished faculty member and Part-Time Assistant Professor at Parsons School of Design, teaching Environmental Design and Design Studio to the next generation of architects. He developed a successful course integrating environmental control systems with studies in tectonic culture. Mr. Benzing cultivated a deep commitment to Passive House while serving as President and Executive Director at New York Passive House. He is licensed to practice Architecture in New York State and Germany, and became a Certified Passive House Designer in 2009. He is a LEED Accredited Professional and has specialized training from the Building Performance Institute.

Volunteers


THOMAS M. EISELE

Policy Advisor

View Bio

THOMAS M. EISELE
THOMAS M. EISELE is the founder of Eisele Architects, a design and consulting firm in New York City. He is an urban planner, licensed architect, LEED Accredited Professional, Certified Passive House Designer, member of the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Adaptation Professionals. He has over 37 years of professional experience on building and planning projects around the world. From 2010 to 2019, Tom was Senior Policy Advisor in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability (MOS) and the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency (MOR) drafting local laws amending the city’s construction codes, zoning resolution and environmental regulations. Tom also created work force development programs, and policies addressing environmental justice. He has acted as principal drafter of over 60 local laws. Tom worked with MOS to develop methodologies for tracking building energy consumption and establish metrics for this purpose, including the targets for mandated Greenhouse Gas Emissions caps for buildings as part of the city’s Climate Mobilization Act. After Hurricane Sandy, Tom worked with the city’s Department of Buildings on updates to flood-resistant construction requirements of the NYC Building Code. He also served on the Technical Review Committee in the city’s Housing Recovery Office (HRO) to help homeowners rebuild after the disaster.

Salmata Kaba

Social Media

View Bio

Salmata Kaba
Salmata Kaba graduated from The State University of New York at Geneseo (SUNY Geneseo) Aug in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & Sociology. She was also awarded the Geneseo Opportunities for Leadership Development Program (GOLD): Bronze & Silver certificates, Dean’s List. Her interests in sustainable design and architecture have led her to volunteer for Green Home NYC and the Mindfulness project in Thailand. She is passionate about Passive House’s mission to create a more energy efficient built environment for New York City and beyond.

Katia Lucuy

Media

View Bio

Katia Lucuy
Katia Lucuy is a Bolivian Architect and a LEED accredited professional, in 2017 she received a Fulbright Scholarship and moved to New York City to continue her education. In 2019 she graduated from CCNY with her degree of Master in Sustainability, her studies focused on sustainability, resilience, and urban environment. In 2020 she began her internship at HWL international where she currently works with the Materials-Technology department while also collaborating with the Sustainability branch of the firm. She has been involved in LEED projects and healthier material initiatives that pursue a better quality of life for users by selecting sustainable materials that prove to be harmless for human health. Katia has recently been involved in Embodied Carbon calculations where trade offs of high-performance buildings can be reflected. She is passionate about Passive House and believes it is the most noble way to make architecture. She joined the team to help spread the word in a way that Passive House becomes the norm of design worldwide.

Bob Schneck

Policy

View Bio

Bob Schneck
Bob Schneck is an investor and partner with MoSA Architects. He is a passionate advocate of the Passive House standard and partnered in the development of the ultra-efficient VOLKSsHOUSE in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Bob is a longtime Manhattan Community Board 1 member and has helped shape Passive House policy as a dedicated volunteer of NY Passive House.

Jose Sosa

Events

View Bio

Jose Sosa
Jose Sosa is a Panamanian Architect based in NYC, currently working in sustainability and high-performance design and construction. He began his studies in Civil Engineering at the Universidad Tecnologica de Panama, and completed his studies at Structural Architecture at USMA University. During 2014, he moved to New York and started his Masters in Sustainability at the City College of New York, where he graduated a year later. During his time there he learned about the Passive House standard, a rigorous energy efficient construction standard that reduces a building’s ecological footprint by as much as 90%. Jose became a certified Passive House consultant in 2018. In New York, he has since worked and collaborated with architects, contractors, interior designers, and sustainability consultants.

Victoria Yee

Training

View Bio

Victoria Yee
Vicki Yee is a building systems analyst with 3+ years of experience in consulting, research, and sustainable development. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering and Bachelor of Arts in Public Health Studies at Johns Hopkins University, where she developed her passion for high-performance building design. As a building systems analyst at Steven Winter Associates, Vicki specializes in energy modeling and certification support for PHI and PHIUS projects. Her projects include several high-rise multifamily and mixed-use Passive House projects in New York City. Vicki is a Certified Passive House Designer, WELL Accredited Professional, and LEED Green Associate.

Jenn Brown

Marketing

View Bio

Jenn Brown
My name is Jenn Brown. I grew up in Bergen County New Jersey which is only a half hour from New York and I always loved being close to the city. I currently attend the College of Charleston in South Carolina and I graduate in May 2023. I plan on living in New York afterwards as well. I attend the school of business administration and I am majoring in Finance of Commercial Real Estate. I have a lot of customer service experience because I really enjoy surrounding myself with good people and working with them. I am currently employed at a Sherwin Williams as a sales representative and a waitress at a local deli here in South Carolina. During this long, difficult time experiencing Covid-19, I have not been able to do as much as I would like to. Being online for most of the year, I have learned so much digitally that I hope to apply it to bigger and better things. I am proud to be part of the New York Passive House organization because I support better energy efficient and sustainable built homes.

Trainers


Ed May

Trainer

View Bio

Ed May
Ed May is a licensed Architect and a LEED Green Associate. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2001 and a Masters of Architecture from Parsons the Newschool in NYC in 2009. Ed has been an Adjunct Professor at Parsons the NewSchool University as well an Industry Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ where he directed the 2015 ‘Solar Decathlon’ program. Ed teaches with the Passive House Academy the North American Passive House Network, and Passive House Canada and is certified by the Passive House Institute (PHI) in Germany and the Passive House Institute of the US (PHIUS) as a Certified Passive House Consultant.

John Mitchell

Trainer

View Bio

John Mitchell
John Mitchell graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College in 1996 and a Masters of Architecture from Parsons the Newschool in NYC in 2009. John has worked for both Parsons the NewSchool and Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. John also teaches with the Passive House Academy and the North American Passive House Network. John is certified by the Passive House Institute (PHI) and the Passive House Institute of the US (PHIUS) as a Certified Passive House Consultant.

Past President


Ken Levenson

Co-Founder
2010 - 2016

View Bio

Ken Levenson
Ken graduated from Pratt Institute in 1989 and has been a registered architect in New York State since 1993. Ken is a Certified Passive House Designer, a founding board member of New York Passive House, the National Passive House Alliance and the North American Passive House Network. Ken is a founding partner at 475 High Performance Building Supply.

Andreas M. Benzing

Co-Founder
2016 - 2020

View Bio

Andreas M. Benzing
Andreas M. Benzing is a practicing architect, teacher, and social entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of New York Passive House, and in 2015 received the prestigious Urban Green Council’s National EBie Award "Power to the People" in recognition of the greatest percentage reduction in building energy use. Mr. Benzing was appointed by the Department of Buildings Commissioner to serve on the 2015 and 2019 New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) Residential Advisory Committee, and served on Manhattan`s Community Board 5, Land Use & Zoning committee. As founder and Senior Partner of a.m.Benzing architects pllc, he personally directs the design of each of the firm's projects. Mr. Benzing developed his tireless work ethic at the famous Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany, where he received his Master of Architecture degree in 1998. He was awarded the European Erasmus Scholarship and studied architecture with Professor Giorgio Grassi at the Politecnico di Milano. Mr. Benzing established his career at O.M.Ungers, and Hans Kollhoff in Berlin, Germany learning the craft of the architectural profession. He founded a.m.Benzing architects pllc in 2006 with the expressed goal of integrating high performance Passive House building systems with architectural excellence. Mr. Benzing is a distinguished faculty member and Part-Time Assistant Professor at Parsons School of Design, teaching Environmental Design and Design Studio to the next generation of architects. He developed a successful course integrating environmental control systems with studies in tectonic culture. Mr. Benzing cultivated a deep commitment to Passive House while serving as President and Executive Director at New York Passive House. He is licensed to practice Architecture in New York State and Germany, and became a Certified Passive House Designer in 2009. He is a LEED Accredited Professional and has specialized training from the Building Performance Institute.