Passive House Breaks Ground in New York City and Cuts a Ribbon in Oregon

Two June event show how far Passive House has progressed in the US.  On June 25th, the Oregonian reported the ribbon cutting for the Orchards at Orenco Station, near Hillsboro, Oregon.  The Orchards is the largest multi-family building designed and constructed to the Passive House Standard in North America.  It contains 57-units affordable to low-income renters.  Katrin Klingenberg, PHIUS Executive Director, travelled to the ribbon cutting, meeting with many members of PHnw.



Walsh Construction Company was the general contractor, and Walsh VP Mike Steffan serves on the board of directors of PHnw.


Green Hammer was the Certified Passive House Consultant for the Orchards.  Green Hammer’s VP Alex Boetzel serves on the PHnw board and just stepped down as President.   In addition, Dylan Lamar of Green Hammer, prepared the PHPP for the Orchards.  Dylan has been an active presenter in many PHnw conferences and workshops, including his recent presentation on DesignPH 


Meanwhile, on the Eastern side of our continent, in New York City, Mayor de Blasio and other dignitaries broke ground on what will be in two short years the largest Passive House in the world: a 26-story skyscraper with 350 apartments. 



Ken Levenson, President of New York Passive House, one of PHnw’s sister regional trade association, blogged about this auspicious event.  Don’t miss the remarkable 4-minute video of Mayor de Blasio’s remarks.  Warning: this make your throat tighten and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.  Passive House is finally going mainstream.


And the New York Times continued its fantastic coverage of Passive House with an article about the the Cornell Tech tower as momentous as its December, 2008 introduction to Passive House You can see many other excellent NYT coverage of Passive House at no cost.


Seventeen years after the summer of 1998 when Dr. Feist first introduced his Passive House research in North America during the American Council for an Energy Efficienct Economy (ACEEE) Summer Study on Buildings conference, Passive House has truly taken hold in the US.  


In fact, it was only 7 years ago this summer that some members of PHnw attended the first organized Passive House consultant training organized by PHIUS in Urbana, Ilinois. 


Already, these early seeds have borne fruit.  However, our climate is changing just as fast as the way we think about and build our buildings.  We must work faster and better to revolutionize buildings.