By Jen Cole

FXFOWLE joined the USGBC MA community on May 19th, 2017 for an invigorating presentation on their latest study showing that it is viable to design high-rise residential buildings to the Passivhaus Standard. FXFOWLE is an architectural, planning, and interior design firm in New York City with a global practice. The firm recently completed 888 Boylston Street, a LEED Platinum office building in Back Bay, Boston, and are currently constructing Ames Street Residences, a residential tower in Kendall Square, Cambridge, designed in collaboration with Stantec. 

The morning seminar was presented by three partners and principals from FXFOWLE: John Schuyler, Ilana Judah, and Gustavo Rodriguez. It featured an introduction to the Passivhaus Standard, which is based on the concept of using simple, direct, and primarily architectural solutions with mixed-use building designs to create ultra-low energy buildings. The firm covered how this standard is applicable to higher education and residential projects, and the relevant case studies involved. Common approaches were identified that can be used to apply Passivhaus to a broad range of high-rise residential building designs.

The presented study also addressed an industry-wide lack of familiarity with Passivhaus and dispels misperceptions about its applicability. The study aimed to determine how the construction industry can become more energy efficient when considering how high-performance envelopes contribute to architectural sustainability.

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