New York Passive House & Handel Architects Present “The Passive House Impact”

On Friday, December 6th, Handel Architects opened its doors to a group of young professionals from Deloitte Services interested in learning more about Passive House design. The professionals, who traveled to New York from different locations across the US, work in diverse sectors and had little background knowledge on Passive House prior to the presentation.

The presentation speakers included Andreas Benzing, President of New York Passive House; Deborah Moelis, Principal at Handel Architects; and Ryan Lobello, Senior Associate at Handel Architects. Together, they worked to create The Passive House Impact, a dynamic 1 hour presentation about the current and future influence of Passive House design.

Andreas Benzing began the presentation with an overview of what Passive House is, why it’s important, and how local legislation – namely Local Law 97 – is helping the Passive House movement reach new heights. Benzing discussed the challenges architects, contractors, and developers face with designing and building Passive House in NYC as well as how far the industry has progressed in the last ten years.

Ryan Lobello and Deborah Moelis of Handel Architects then honed in on specific high-rise Passive House projects taken on by their firm. The presentation was centered on The House at Cornell Tech, the world’s first residential high-rise project. Handel Architects worked alongside a talented group of developers, contractors, manufacturers, and architects to make this vision a reality. The House’s compact building shape, low energy HVAC system, energy efficient appliances, and user-friendliness all helped the project to achieve Passive House certification.

In addition to The House, Lobello and Moelis also discussed the design process behind Sendero Verde, an affordable housing development in East Harlem (and now the largest Passive House Project in the world), and Winthrop Center in Boston, which includes 750,000 square feet of Passive House commercial office space.

The Passive House Impact presentation is a great opportunity for students or professionals to learn more about Passive House principles and the process that goes into designing and constructing some of the largest Passive House buildings in the world. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation with New York Passive House and Handel, please contact