A New Energy Efficient Type of Housing Could Revolutionize New York City



A New Energy Efficient Type of Housing Could Revolutionize New York City

Passive House, a German-born building program overseen in this country by Passive House Institute U.S., is poised to make a big impact in New York City. Its basic tenets: promoting lower energy consumption (60 to 80 percent less than code allowances), clean air, and consistent thermal comfort regardless of season or sun orientation. Just last year, the tallest and largest Passive House in the world made its debut on Roosevelt Island, part of Cornell Tech’s new campus. Constructed for Cornell students, faculty, and staff, the 26-story, 350-unit metal-and-glass edifice provides healthful benefits such as filtered fresh air to each living space, produced through an energy-recovery ventilation system.

“Passive House could be a significant tool in combating global warming,” says Gary Handel, the president of Handel Architects, which designed the structure. “This project exemplifies how building methods can be a catalyst for positive urban and social change.” Up next: Handel’s plan for the 649-unit Sendero Verde development in Harlem, slated to be the world’s biggest Passive House catering to low-income tenants, was approved in late November. (The city’s first Passive House rental, Perch Harlem, opened last summer in Hamilton Heights.)

A New Energy Efficient Type of Housing Could Revolutionize New York City
A New Energy Efficient Type of Housing Could Revolutionize New York City

Reduced energy costs might be a bonus of Passive House construction, but efficiency doesn’t mean that you have to skimp on creature comforts. In Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill neighborhood, SBLM Architects recently completed a seven-story Passive House condo at 210 Pacific Street, whose eight sold-out units, featuring direct elevator access and appliances by Sub-Zero and Miele, garnered prices as hefty as $5.5 million. In the nearby Columbia Street Waterfront District, a 13-unit design by the firm Loadingdock5, boasting homes with marble baths and private outdoor space, saw sales figures upwards of $2.5 million when it opened in 2014. And at 138 Sackett Street, also located in Brooklyn and built in 2014, a 1,276-square-foot one-bedroom duplex condo with a garden and a finished lower level is currently on the market for $1.4 million with Virginia Dobles and Frank Lara of Brownstone Real Estate. 

Because New York City has one of the most stringent energy codes in the country, argues Todd Poisson, a partner at BKSK Architects, it’s worth the effort to aim for Passive House accreditation, which requires more inspection during construction to ensure that a building’s membrane is sealed appropriately. Currently at work on a nine-story, seven-unit Passive House condo project at 466 Columbus Avenue, Poisson predicts that more new rental buildings and public facilities will also begin incorporating Passive House principles. “Passive House,” he says, “has a big future because it combines basic building science with demonstrable, sustainable benefits to users.” 

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52 Dorchester Road, Darien, CT
Reminiscent of a bygone era, this iconic 1930s brick estate is poised to be brought back to its former glory. Envision Gatsby-meets-2018 with a grand entrance, generously sized rooms, high ceilings, fumed wood paneling and arched doors, newly refinished floors and a freshly painted interior throughout much of the house. Set on 4.5 private acres with a pool, cabana and mature plantings, this property is a rare find. Vintage details for a future masterpiece.



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Barn and Vine

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76 Windmill Lane, Bridgehampton
On 2+/- acres, landscaped for complete privacy, this complex consists of three interconnected enameled clad steel barns custom designed by Jack Ceglic, with radiant heat concrete floors, maintenance free exteriors and grand, open spaces. The 4,600+/- sq. ft. main house offers custom kitchen, master and guest suites, library and half bath. All rooms open to large mahogany terrace. The guest house/studio has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, and separate study. Heated gunite lap pool.



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5 Green Pond Road, New Milford, CT
Litchfield County's fabled Candlelight Farms Airport. This is a rare opportunity to own one of CT's few grass strip airports. Moments from Candlewood Lake and all that Litchfield County offers. Bucolic 35 acre setting with 2,900 ft. turf runway. The collector-quality hangar boasts a steel framed, 6,000 sq ft structure with automatic doors. Spacious enough to store up to 10 Piper Cub size planes. Perfect for a private user, a collective of enthusiasts or a commercial investment.



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Perched at the top of a roaring Silvermine River waterfall on almost 4 acres, the property spreads out into Wilton and New Canaan. Every inch of this home has been perfected to capture the timeless appeal of the river while exuding ultimate refinement and good taste. The architect-designed home captures river views and sounds, and almost every room opens to one of the magnificent decks or to a private balcony. Call Ileana Barns Slavin Associates-William Raveis at (203) 246-7215.

11 Musket Ridge Road

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