World’s Tallest Passive House Is Set to Open for Occupancy Fall 2017Vicki
When you’re the biggest, the tallest, the best or maybe even the “greenest”… seems everyone wants to talk about you. From its high-profile groundbreaking day in June 2016, we’ve continued to see LOTS of press on the Cornell Tech Passive House Project on Roosevelt Island in New York. Dozens of pages of articles on the topic appear when you do a Google search. So what’s all the “buzz” about? “The House” as it has been dubbed, is a 26-story, multi-unit building that is part of Cornell’s 2.1 million-square-foot technology campus in New York City. The Roosevelt Island Campus, which will include 350 residences for students, staff, and faculty, has been billed as the tallest (and largest) passive house in the world. Passive House (PH) is a strict international building standard that drastically reduces energy consumption while creating a healthier, more comfortable living environment for a fraction of residents’ usual energy costs. “Constructing the first Passive House residential high rise in the world is the latest and most exciting example of our effort to set new benchmarks in sustainability and innovation,” said Cornell Tech Dean Daniel Huttenlocher. “We hope this 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.” Cornell Tech enlisted well-known NY developer the Hudson Companies to handle this prestigious project. Plans to achieve the Passive House standards were developed by a team of experts, including Handel Architects, Steven Winter Associates (Passive House Consultants), Buro Happold (engineers), Passive House Academy (certification), Monadnock Construction and co-owner Related Companies. “The most exciting part of this project was the design development process with the entire team,” remarked Lois Arena, director of passive house services for Steven Winter Associates. “On a project this complex, everyone has to be brought in earlier in the process and has to work together to succeed.” To achieve Passive House (PH) standards, Cornell Tech Residences will incorporate a number of sustainability focused design elements:
- The façade, constructed of a prefabricated metal panel system, acts as a thermally insulated blanket wrapping the building structure.
- The exterior of the southwest façade (facing Manhattan) opens to reveal a louver system that extends the entire height of the building. This system is designed to be the “gills” of the building, literally providing an enclosed, louvered exterior space where the heating and cooling equipment live, allowing the building to breathe.
- The building’s exterior shimmers, using a state-of-the-art, color-changing paint that, when reflecting light, naturally shifts color from silver to warm champagne.
- The interior spaces are designed to provide a comfortable living experience that reinforces the social and intellectual connectivity that is at the heart of Cornell’s mission and features a number of collaborative spaces, both inside and outside, to facilitate collective academic creativity.