World’s first Passive House high-rise breaks ground

Cornell Tech has begun construction on the first high-rise residential building in the world to be built to Passive House standards. The 26-story, 82-metre-tall building will house around 350 residential units.

The high-rise is being built on Cornell Tech’s campus on Roosevelt Island, a narrow island in New York City’s East River in Manhattan. To achieve Passive House standards, Cornell Tech is incorporating a number of sustainability-focused design elements to allow the building to save 882 tonnes of CO2 per year compared to a conventional construction.

Passive House is considered one of the most rigorous energy efficiency standards in the world, and buildings certified with the standard consume 60 to 70 per cent less energy than the typical building stock. While the standard even surpasses LEED, Passive House buildings are uncommon in North America, leading Cornell Tech Dean Daniel Huttenlocher to hope that the building will “serve as a model for how Passive House standards can be brought to scale in the United States and create a new template for green design here in New York City.”

The building, which was developed in partnership with real estate developer Hudson Companies and designed by Handel Architects, is set to open as part of the campus’ first phase in 2017. The new Cornell Tech applied sciences campus in New York City is a partnership between Cornell University and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.


Photo credit: © Handel Architects

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