New York's First Passive House Would Have No Problem Hiding From the Predator

Illustration for article titled New York's First Passive House Would Have No Problem Hiding From the Predator

Earlier today we talked about the Living Building Challenge, a certification system that rates the sustainability of a building over the course of a year. Here's a follow-up about 23 Park Place, a Park Slope townhouse designed by Fabrica718 that's probably the most energy efficient home in the city, thanks to its Passive House certification.

Advertisement

If you're not familiar with Passive House, here's a primer: it's a 25-year-old building system founded by a group of German and Swedish architects who proved that insulation and airtight construction can cut energy costs in typical buildings by as much as 90%. The (very) basic idea is that a properly insulated building needs far less artificial heat, because it retains heat gain from the sun and the people inside. It's a hugely popular concept in Europe, but it's taken a long time to catch on in the US.

According to Curbed, this thermal image was taken on a freezing 12-degree night last winter. While its neighbors are leaking red and orange heat all over the place, 23 Park Place, right in the middle, is almost completely blue. It's a pretty remarkable illustration of how inefficient most homes are—and how unassuming the fix can be (this is what the house looks like IRL). Sam McAfee, who took the photo, talks about how Passive House is changing the city without, you know, changing the city:

Soon the whole city will look like this. You won't see the change, they will just be there looking like the rest. But they are different, like a ghost building that was nearly removed from the energy map. It sits there consuming less, giving more and caring for their occupants while the city goes on around them.

Illustration for article titled New York's First Passive House Would Have No Problem Hiding From the Predator

[Curbed via Fabrica718]

Advertisement

DISCUSSION

SmartPoo
SmartPoo

You do realise that this technology has been around for years. In fact there are many energy saving methods and renewable energy sources that would, in theory, save money and the environment. The problem though, is if everybody is saving 90% of their energy then doesn't that mean that the fuel companies are only going to earn 10% of their usual monster profits?. So what do they do?; they raise prices. We can dream of a cheaper, cleaner future, but the reality is it's never going to happen, not in our lives, nor your grandchildren's lives.

We don't actually need to burn any fossil fuels to survive.