Enigmatic, mysterious, elusive. Like the theory of relativity, or how to correctly use a washing machine, the Passive House standard is something that many people know of, but seemingly few people really understand. This month we took some time to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we receive concerning Passive House design.
Renovating a home in New York City is no easy feat - it's an undertaking which requires plenty of patience. But what about building a Passive House - is it any different? For many it may seem like you're setting sail in uncharted waters, however we firmly believe that the process shouldn't be seen as scary or restrictive.
Over the last year we have had the pleasure of working with Bo and Itzy, who are the owners of a Ditmas Park Passive House retrofit - an XS, single family house. It is a beautiful, old Victorian home, but a bit of a “fixer-upper.”
Earlier this summer we were honored to present at the 2016 Passive House Conference in New York City. Our Certified Passive House Designer Staz Zakrzewski teamed up with Matthew Lee of Lee Properties Group and talked about challenges and opportunities offered by CLT, or cross-laminate timber construction. We've distilled some of our points and in this article we’d like to share with you the ethical case for working with CLT, as well as demonstrate why wood is increasingly being called the building material of the 21st century.
I recently had the opportunity to visit the Nordic Factory in Quebec, Canada. Nordic is one of the leading producers of CLT, or cross-laminated wood, an engineered wood product which is commonly referred to as mass timber. Watching as this material has gained popularity over the past number of years, particularly in Europe, we've become very excited by its potential. Right now there's a substantial amount of buzz around CLT and it has been described as 'the material of the 21st century.'
If there’s one criticism we have of the term “Passive House” it’s that we don’t think the name does justice to the concept or its great potential.
It’s no surprise that we are infatuated with Passive House design--and are excited that architects are beginning to synthesize the demands of Passive House construction with high design. And at ZH Architects, we are always on the lookout for inspiration in the Passive House design community. This month, we are giving you a sneak peek into three of the designs that have inspired us lately.