The Belfield Avenue Townhomes in Philadelphia, designed by Onion Flats
I'm in awe of the Passive House standard—buildings that are so well-insulated and air-tight that they only need to use 1/4 the energy of a traditionally-powered home. Across Europe, Passivhaus construction is widely used for multi-family buildings and public housing. Cities such as Antwerp, Belgium, and Cologne have even made Passivhaus standards part of their building codes. But it's taken awhile for the U.S. to catch on. In the current issue of Dwell (May 2015) I write about four new housing projects here that embrace Passive House design: Belfield Avenue Townhomes in Philadelphia; Knickerbocker Commons + the Mennonite in Brooklyn; the Orchards at Orenco in Hillsboro, Oregon; and Stellar Apartments in Eugene, Oregon. You can read my article on the Dwell web site or Download the Passive PDF here.