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News & Notes

Passive House — What is it, and why do I keep hearing about it?

It’s not uncommon to hear about new and improved ways to cut down energy consumption in your home, no matter the location, size, or type. However, you may have started to hear more and more about Passive Houses. But what exactly are they?


Passive houses are thermally optimized and utilize free energy— or, “passive” heat— to maintain energy balance. Temperatures in the home remain constant throughout the entire year, without the assistance of heaters and air conditioners. Richard Dalton, a Brennan real estate agent, long time real estate investor and developer, and also a New York Passive House member, gives us insight on the principles, benefits, and breakdown of Passive Houses.



Thermally Optimized: Super insulated and tight buildings reduce energy transfer to the outside through conduction, convection and radiation

Uses Free Energy: “Passive” heat from appliances, occupants and the sun are factored into overall energy balance

Mechanical Lungs: Continuous ventilation uses energy recovery to pre-condition fresh air, thus reducing load for “active” conditioning

Integrated Design: Comprehensive energy model grounded in building science, not experimental technology



Efficient: Requires 75+% less “active” energy than building to code so provides a path to net zero

Comfortable: No drafts or cold spots near windows and reduced street noise

Healthy: Constant supply of filtered fresh air even with windows closed

Durable: Design modeling and tight construction reduce potential for failure with easy verification as construction progresses



Open Architecture: Performance-based standard provides ample flexibility in terms of aesthetic design and material choices

Plan Early: Most effective if factored into initial design for renovation projects or, earlier still, when home shopping

Find Out More: We are fortunate to belong to a collaborative and passionate local community so feel free to reach out with questions or visit https://nypassivehouse.org/


Have questions about Passive Houses? Email info@BrennanRE.com to learn more!

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