Passive House takes New York


Jonah and Andrew went to New York to speak at the North American Passive House Conference and more importantly absorb the energy of the city and the latest insights in the Passive House world. While only in its third year the NAPHC is already the gold standard in building science for the quality of the presenters and state-of-the-art insight into the field.

Jonah at NAPHA16

Photo NYPH

The conference was backdropped with the 27 story Cornell building topped off, making it the tallest certified project in the world, some great newly minted Passive House retrofits and multifamilys, and NYC Mayor’s office fully embracing the Passive House standard for nearly all new city buildings going forward. This quick and sizable adoption has surprised many of us who have been following and practicing Passive House for the last few years so the energy in the 700 strong crowd of attendees at the event was visceral.

New York is again in the middle of a dynamic building boom with residential buildings being the mean focus. While the glamour of architecture stars still is the priority for many developers the ground swell of support for a reliable and robust energy standard has taken root in the boroughs. Jonah was giving out tee shirts to attendees saying Passive House Physics : Not a Religion.

*tee shirts available soon from NEEDBASED

A couple of supporter’s habiliment inspired strangers who heard of passive house strike up conversation throughout the city, including Andrew while crossing the street somewhere near Astor Place. Halfway across the intersection he heard from behind “Passive House! I know that.” The responder was a real estate investor who was keen on learning how Passive House was progressing and how he could get involved. That is sign of the world changing.

The Passive House world is both getting much bigger but also much smaller. Seeing it applied at scale and adopted at such speed in places like New York is a harbinger of what will come (Vancouver just announced a similar city wide adoption of Passive House). But this is really the result of the long term commitment of a tightly knit group of practitioners who have made building physics not only normal, but beautiful and meaningful for clients and the climate.

And to learn more much about the conference and Passive House download the NAPHC16 booklet Passive House Accelerates.

NAPHC17 will take place in Oakland, CA, Andrew’s hometown, so we will see you there.