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Brooklyn Cohousing Project-Passive House

Another well written Passive House article worthy of a post. This article is written by Ken Levenson who is an architect in Brooklyn, NY. His client, the Brooklyn Cohousing group, chose Passive House design over other ‘green’ building standards for their project.

The entire article can be read here. Below is an excerpt to whet your appetite:

Passive House Retrofit Characteristics: Brooklyn Cohousing

August 21st, 2009

“I recently have undertaken a building project with Brooklyn Cohousing following Passive House standards. My clients decided to pursue this course after carefully examining the affordability and predictability of energy usage with the Passive House option.

Predictability: USGBC’s own commissioned report, Energy Performance of LEED for New Construction Buildings (pdf), March 4, 2008 concluded “…measured performance displays a large degree of scatter…” While this is true of other standards, it is not true of Passive House. Passive House has an unparalleled track record of predicting performance reliably. CEPHEUS, an E.U. sponsored program, verified Passive House’s reliability by developing hundreds of units of housing in multiple countries with different architects and contractors. I’d argue that the reliability of the methodology makes Passive House the least risky approach to super-efficient building. That reliability makes Passive House convincing – and was one of the factors, I believe, that convinced Brooklyn Cohousing to go for it.”

Mr. Levenson goes on to write about ‘affordability’ and payback period, typical characteristics of a Passive House, and a few paragraphs on the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) modeling software. “The PHPP is the most sophisticated static energy model in use today”.

Ken Levenson is a partner in Levenson McDavid Architects P.C., in Brooklyn, NY. Ken also maintains the blog Checklist Toward Zero Carbon.