Passive House, The Columbia County Experience: A Round Table Discussion
Since 2008, BarlisWedlick Architects has received six commissions seeking energy-efficient solutions for new construction in Columbia County, New York. In each case, BarlisWedlick Architects has elected to pursue the cutting-edge passive house standard, today’s highest standard for energy conservation in architecture and construction (the passive house standard promises a 90% reduction in energy required for heating and an overall energy reduction of 65% or more). While more than 30,000 buildings have achieved passive house certification around the world, the United States has been slower to adopt this rigorous level of energy efficiency. Today, there are only a few dozen certified passive house projects in the country.
BarlisWedlick’s passive house portfolio includes private homes, a corporate headquarters, a Habitat for Humanity project, and a church, all in various stages of construction and all within a twenty mile radius of its Hudson Valley office. All six are being monitored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), functioning as case studies for a new model of rural development.
On April 17th at the Center for Architecture in Manhattan, the New York Passive House Alliance, an advocacy group for the passive house standard, and BarlisWedlick Architects will hold a panel discussion focusing on several projects in Columbia County, NY. The round table conversation will touch upon why the clients pursued the passive house standard in the first place; how the process differed from a conventional approach; impact on budget; special challenges encountered; and the reaction from the community at large.