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The tallest passive house building? Rise in North America!
December 19, 2019

The tallest passive house building? Rise in North America!

One would think that everyone knows well the passive house – especially in Europe.  The relevant building standards are in place to build energy-efficient houses. And now everybody knows that one has to build a house with passive house details and technologies. Moreover, one has to aim now to net-zero energy building in Europe.

Some years ago I remember my colleague asking me what the tallest passive house built yet –  in Europe is, and I told him that it would be a student dormitory in Austria with 12 stories or so. And what about today?

The world tallest passive house named Bolueta was completed in 2018, and this building houses 361 social housing apartments in 28 stories located in Bilboa, Spain, Europe. The design focused on high thermal mass insulation, triple-glazed windows and air-tight building envelope.

What is happening with passive house over the sea –  in the USA and Canada? What is the tallest building in planning yet in Canada?

In North America, the passive house concept is also very known and widely used – but mainly for small residential buildings. Although New York is nowadays highly focused on high-rise buildings, due to the lack of space, of course! The tallest building in NYC was built in 2017 at Cornell Tech with 26 stories and 352 apartment units.

But Vancouver in Canada has taken it even further. New projects are developing and the architects are not shy – they want to build the tallest passive house! With over 60 stories!

Furthermore, in the year 2019, the new tallest passive house building is in planning and to be constructed in Vancouver, Canada. This 60 stories building will use the same approach to achieve the key numbers for passive house certification. Nevertheless, the architects are trying to make it more attractive for people and also architecturally-significant look.

According to the architect Monte Paulsen when built to passive house standard, the apartment units will require little to no heating.

“In practice, most of these apartments will remain warm in winter with no additional heat, while remaining comfortably cool in summer due to a combination of natural ventilation and a very small degree of light cooling.”

Read more!

Read more about Cornel Tech in NYC, USA (link here).

Read more about Bolueta in Spain, EUROPE (link here).

Read more about Vancouver´s tallest passive house in planning, CANADA (link here).