Passive House awards finalists include New York and Philadelphia projects

| by Gary Wollenhaupt
Passive House awards finalists include New York and Philadelphia projects

Two U.S.-based projects are among the finalists for the Passive House Award 2014 that will be announced on April 25 at the International Passive House Conference.

An international jury made the final selection from approximately one hundred submissions. The winners in a total of six categories will be announced on 25 April in Aachen, Germany, at the 2014 International Passive House Conference. A list of all finalists can now be viewed on

The jury selected seven buildings in the category Office and Special Use Buildings: the RHW.2 Passive House high rise in Vienna (ARGE Atelier Hayde / Architektur Maurer & Partner); the Natural Heritage Centre on the German island of Rügen (Architekt Stöger); an artist studio in Long Island, New York (Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects); an extension of the Maximilianeum in Munich (Léon Wohlhage Wernik); the Syd Energi headquarters in the Danish city of Esbjerg (GPP Arkitekter A/S); the Kunstmuseum in German historical town of Ravensburg (Lederer Ragnarsdóttir Oei Architekten); and the Correctional Centre in Korneuburg, Austria (Arge Dieter Mathoi Architekten & DIN A4 Architektur).

Belfield Homes is a 3-unit townhome development in North Philadelphia, in partnership with a Non-profit Community Service organization. On track to be the first certified Passive House certified homes in Philadelphia, this project will be a model for low income urban infill development, providing sustainable zero energy homes for those who can least afford the rising cost of energy. (Photo: Sam Oberter Photography)

The finalists in the category of Single Family Homes hail from Auckland, New Zealand (Jessop Architects); Sint-Niklaas, Belgium (BLAF architects); Espoo, Finland (Kimmo Lylykangas Architects); and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, USA (Plumbob). The Apartment Building category saw finalists located in Hamburg (Huke-Schubert Berge Architekten), Munich (Allmann Sattler Wappner Architekten), and Berlin (Deimel Oelschläger Architekten Partnerschaft), Germany.

Three projects in the Educational Buildings category made it into the finals: the Riedberg Secondary School inFrankfurt, Germany (Ackermann+Raff); a seminar and apartment building in Goesan, South Korea(ArchitekturWerkstatt Vallentin); and the Montessori School in Aufkirchen, Germany (ArchitekturWerkstatt Vallentin, R. Grotz, R. Loibl, H. Walbrunn). The jury also selected three finalists from the retrofit projects submitted: a terraced house in London (Paul Davis+Partners), an office building in the French town of Saint-Étienne (Atelier d’architecture Rivat), and a terraced brownstone in Brooklyn, New York (Fabrica718 / Studio Cicett Architect).

The Tighthouse brownstone retrofit is the first certified Passive House project in NYC. The retrofit adds a new rear facade, 3rd floor, and roof terrace. A continuous envelope of insulation, air tightness, and mitigated thermal bridges will reduce energy usage. The project features high performance materials and a HRV ventilation system. The third floor addition has an angled roof with solar thermal and photovoltaic panels. There is no gas service. (Photo: Hai Zhang)

In addition to the 20 individual buildings that made it to the finals, a Passive House Region, favoured by the majority of the jurors, was directly chosen as a winner in the Urban Planning category. This project will also be honoured with the Passive House Award at the International Passive House Conference. An important aspect of this particular project, as with all the winners, was its emphasis on the Passive House Standard in conjunction with the use of renewable energies – an approach that fits with the “Nearly Zero-Energy Building” of the European Building Directive.

The 2014 Passive House Award has been put on by the Passive House Institute under the patronage of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy and within the framework of the EU project PassREg (Passive House Regions with Renewable Energies). Certification verifying compliance with the Passive House Standard (or EnerPHit Standard in the case of retrofits) was a prerequisite for participation. The jury was thus free to focus solely on the architectural design of the projects in its evaluation.

Read more about Passive House.

Topics: Building Green, Certification / LEED, Cost of Ownership, Passive House, Sustainability Trends & Statistics

Gary Wollenhaupt

Gary Wollenhaupt is an experienced writer and editor, with a background as a daily newspaper reporter as well as corporate and agency public relations and marketing. He is constantly looking for affordable green upgrades to make to his home in eastern Kentucky.

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