Could Passive Houses Be the Future of Home Design in Westchester?

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“A [passive house] is the experience of the finished product, the beauty, and the sense of well-being, in addition to the extreme energy efficiency, which really creates love for this innovation and architectural design,” says Benzing. “We believe that soon, designs based on the science of passive house will be the standard for all new construction.”

Benzing’s firm, A.M. Benzing Architects, has been designing passive houses since 2008 and designed the first certified passive house retrofit in Westchester. It was a redesign of a split-level home in Mamaroneck that was turned into a high-performance passive house and received the Urban Green EBie award for the most energy-efficient retrofit. Since then, he has become synonymous with passive design in our area.

Photos by Korin Krossber

“In order to achieve ultimate performance for the house, we have to rethink the wall-to-window ratios, orientation, and placement of windows,” says Benzing. “The passive house is a revolutionary, world-altering invention — one that is also open source and available for use by all architects who are trained to implement it.”

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