A new benchmark for energy efficiency is starting to appear in the U.S., and in Massachusetts.
Passive House is a design program focused heavily on building envelope improvements to reduce heating and cooling energy requirements.
"We’ll look forward to future projects designed to Passive House Standards as this relatively new standard continues to gain momentum and support in the affordable housing realm," said Alexander Bross, MassHousing’s Manager of Design & Construction.
Passive House standards originated in Germany and are becoming more common in the U.S. Despite the name, the principles can be applied to any building, not just single-family homes. Passive House projects have started to appear around the country, and the first in Massachusetts—Distillery North in South Boston—is now leasing.
MassHousing recently committed financing to its first project that will be built to Passive House standards, a six-unit development on Norwell Street in Dorchester. The 'high performance' workforce housing project will utilize passive solar design; wall sections that meet the Passive House standard; triple glazed windows; and an engineered heat recovery ventilation system. The project's developer is T Lee Development LLC and the architect is Placetailor.
For more information, visit the Passive House Institute US at www.phius.org.