From just a handful of North American projects at the dawn of this decade, certified Passive House construction through either U.S. or international governing bodies has been doubling virtually every year to total some 1,200 overall housing units with more than one million cumulative square feet last year, according to the Pembina Institute, a Canadian-based energy policy advocacy group that tracks the Passive House movement.
In the U.S., Passive House designs have mostly focused on single-family residences but are now increasingly applied to multifamily and high-rise projects. In New York City, the first residential high rise built to Passive House standards, a 26-story student housing complex, is set to open this year on Cornell University’s technology campus. The building’s facade, constructed of a prefabricated metal panel system, acts as a thermally insulated blanket wrapping the structure.
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