Passivhaus Feasibility Study Released


FXFOWLE has released a study showing that it is viable to design high-rise residential buildings in New York City to the Passivhaus Standard–a standard based on the concept of using simple, direct and primarily architectural solutions to create ultra-low energy buildings.

The Feasibility Study to Implement the Passivhaus Standard on Tall Residential Buildings is based on a particular mixed-use building design, however, common approaches are identified that can be used to apply Passivhaus to a broad range of high-rise residential building designs. The study addresses an industry-wide lack of familiarity with Passivhaus and dispels misperceptions about its applicability.

“Passive House* is one of the most effective ways that New York State can achieve Governor Cuomo’s energy goals,” said Ilana Judah, Principal and Director of Sustainability, FXFOWLE. “The results of the study are very encouraging, but also demonstrate that more effort is needed to incentivize Passive House construction and product development. Many parts of Europe have successfully made Passive House mainstream, and the time is ripe for New York to do so.”

The study was funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to determine how the construction industry can become more energy efficient.

John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by making buildings more energy efficient is a vital component of Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading energy strategy. The results of this study provide important information for the construction industry to help make buildings more environmentally friendly and support the state’s clean energy goals.”

The Feasibility Study to Implement the Passivhaus Standard on Tall Residential Buildings is available here. An abbreviated form of the study is available here.

*”Passivhaus” is the German term for the ultra-low energy building standard. It is administered by the International Passivhaus Institut (PHI) in Darmstadt/ Germany. “Passive House” is the English term for the standard. Note that “Passive House” can refer to both the German standard administered by iPHI, and the slightly different American Passive House standard, administered by the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS). “