March 20, 2017

475 Presents: High Performance Gets Real

What exactly do we mean by high-performance building?  What are some of the obstacles to building this way?  And when compromises have to be made, how can we make cost-effective choices and still construct a high-performance, low-energy, and maybe even Passive House building? In this presentation, we talk about the 6 key characteristics of high performance […]

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March 13, 2017 wippro-front-thumb200x200

WIPPRO Klimatec 160: The Only Passive House Certified Attic Stair

Is your attic outside your thermal enclosure?  If so, access to that attic space should be carefully considered.   You want easy and comfortable access but also need to maintain the continuity of the airtightness and insulation layers.   Needless to say traditional attic stairs do not deliver the needed performance.  Until today, the best […]

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February 15, 2017 Roof-THUMB

Daylight Helps the Healing Process: Project Spotlight in Leicester, UK

Daylighting’s known benefits include better student performance and faster patient recovery in medical facilities – so this beautiful roof, in a building that houses the University of Leicester’s medical education, health sciences and psychology departments, serves as an example of striking design that is sensitive to the needs and comforts of occupants.  Now the largest Passive House […]

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January 10, 2017 businessbackslowcarbonusa

475 is proud to join: Business Backs Low-Carbon USA

475 is about climate change activism.  Today, we’re taking another step by joining more than 620 companies including Patagonia, Aspen Skiing Company, and investors across the United States – to encourage the incoming administration and new Congress to stick with the commitments we’ve made in the Paris Climate Agreement.  We pledge to do our part to […]

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December 6, 2016 hphmr_thumb

475 Presents: High Performance Historic Masonry Retrofits

30 Minute Webinar Video We recommend you download the companion eBook and CAD details for this presentation.   Description: The goals of historic preservation and energy efficiency and comfort often seem in conflict, as higher insulation levels can pose new risks to these timeless structures. Yet it need not be so. This comprehensive presentation discusses […]

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November 26, 2016 20150426_inq_re1deal26z-a

4 Hurdles to Hitting Passive House Performance & How to Overcome Them

Passive House performance is the future of building.  As with any trip there are obstacles.   Yet professionals new to Passive House can be disoriented and may not readily see them.   What’s going on? The Passive House Paradox On the one hand Passive House is simply a rediscovery of basic building science with a more rigorous arrangement […]

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November 10, 2016 apollo-13

Avoiding the Abyss: Climate Crisis, Apollo 13 & Passive House in the Age of Donald Trump

  As the New York Times, post-election, reminds us: if Trump abandons the commitments of COP21 made in Paris, other countries like India will likely become disincentivized to act. If this comes to pass it will be impossible to prevent runaway global warming, with human population collapse, massive species extinction and unimaginable levels of suffering. Climate tipping points […]

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November 1, 2016 cornell-tower

Notes From New York: Lessons From A Growing Market

Passive House is growing around the world.  Yet some regions seem to be moving farther, faster.  Why? 475’s own Ken Levenson had a chance to explore this question when asked to talk about what’s happening in the New York region as the keynote speaker at the recent Passive House Massachusetts Symposium in Boston.   What […]

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September 13, 2016 nyserda-logo

NYSERDA Supports Passive House

In support of New York State’s aggressive carbon reduction goals the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s new incentives are structured to support a “fabric first” approach and then push toward net zero buildings.  NYSERDA recognizes the power of Passive House in establishing very energy efficient, resilient, healthy and comfortable buildings as the basis of […]

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June 29, 2016 Large-back-wall

Blowerdoor Testing The Best Doggie Door In North America

We’re excited to put the super-efficient Freedom Pet Pass doggie door to the test. In this quick edit of the video, we introduce it by showing how the double-layer of magnetic strips work to hold the insulated flap in place while easily allowing for opening with the push of a big wet nose. These doors come in […]

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May 25, 2016 phppip

The Latest PHPP is Revolutionary

Passive House Software Is Leaping Forward With each iteration of the PHPP (Passive House Planning Package), Passive House practitioners get more powerful tools to reduce building energy by design. Of particular importance to the US audience, the version of PHPP 9 in Imperial Units (PHPP 9 IP) has been released, which is the first energy […]

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March 28, 2016 JLC-LOGO

JLC Reports on Success of Foam-Free Unvented Flat Roof Assembly

475 enables more robust assemblies that are less toxic. Such was the case with the Whitchurch home in northern Vermont – working with the owners and their dedicated Passive House team at Montpelier Construction. The walls were a variation on the I-Joist outrigger configuration with dense pack cellulose between DB+ membrane inboard and SOLITEX Mento Plus […]

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January 26, 2016 439-Bergen-Front-Facade-e1445713379954-199x300

Historic Masonry: Notes and Details (updated)

475 in many ways started with historic masonry retrofits, and with our HQ surrounded by Brownstone Brooklyn, we are helping a great many of these 100+ year old buildings get high-performance/Passive House retrofits for the 21st century.  Our deep interest in making these retrofits work, has led us to produce public interest articles, eBooks, details and extensive […]

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December 15, 2015 BT-Yonkers 12.10.15 - EDIT

Learning from PHIUS

What draws many of us to Passive House is its simplicity, its clarity, its predictability, and it’s drastic impact on comfort and energy efficiency.  But  achieving simplicity requires great repetition, practice and lots of training.  So last week attending the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS)’s Certified Builder training course in Yonkers, NY, was another good […]

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November 29, 2015 passivenyc

Passive NYC: Making the Pathway to 80 by 50

Passive NYC, A snapshot of low energy building opportunities, barriers, & resources, published by the the Building Energy Exchange, demonstrates that Passive House is a force to be reckoned with: in planning the future of our cities, at every level of policy making, and in building design. And 475, with our HQ in Brooklyn, is proud to […]

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August 27, 2015 obama

Obama Endorses Passive House Initiative: This is BIG

In stunning news from Washington DC this week, the White House announced as part of a comprehensive plan to bring renewable energy and energy efficiency to households across the U.S. , that New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) in collaboration with NYSERDA, is launching a Passive House track:  The White House press release makes […]

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May 7, 2015 ReportFromGermany2

475 Goes to Germany

One of the great treats of being a partner at 475 High Performance Building Supply is the annual trip to the International Passive House conference – this year in Leipzig, Germany,  April 17th and 18th. We have the opportunity to see customers from across North America, visit our leading product suppliers and stay up-to-date on […]

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April 2, 2015 JaneSandersInterior

Why New Yorkers Love Passive House

This video speaks for itself. We featured this project in a previous video – 475 On-Site: Historic Brownstone Passive House Retrofit in Brooklyn, NY. It is in process to receive EnerPHit certification with architect, Jane Sanders, and builder, Build With Prospect. So how does this work? Airsealing and insulation. These two measures increase comfort, while drastically reducing energy and outside […]

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April 1, 2015 PHIcertNYtimes

New York Times: Passive House Poised To Go Big

If you make it in New York City, you can make it anywhere. Passive House builders in NYC got recognition for making it happen in last weekend’s New York Times Real Estate section. As New York Passive House trumpeted, it’s been launched above the fold. There’s so much to say about this most recent take on the […]

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January 5, 2015 PoppingTheBalloon

BSC & PHIUS Passive Building Report Not Airtight

Very good enclosure airtightness is a cornerstone characteristic of low-energy, resilient, high-performance (Passive House) buildings. Air control is so important that the Building Science Corporation ranks it second only to keeping the rain out – one notch above vapor control and two notches above thermal insulation – in making a functional enclosure.[1] The Passive House […]

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November 5, 2014 HouseTour2

International Passive House Days: See the future with 475 this weekend

475 is happy to be an active participant in this year’s International Passive House Days event, happening Friday-Sunday, November 7-9. From our office happy hour this Friday afternoon in our Brooklyn headquarters (that you are all invited to – RSVP here), to projects we’ve been actively involved in across the country, we hope you can see us […]

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October 3, 2014 OneCityBuiltToLast

New York City Points to Passive House

In statements made to coincide with the recent UN Climate Summit and the highly attended People’s Climate March, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the release of the city’s new building-focused climate initiative. In a document entitled One City: Built to Last, the New York City Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability lays […]

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September 18, 2014 headline-whitchurch

Middlesex VT: Foam-free, WUFI-verified, and OSB-free high performance

The town of Middlesex, Vermont, located just north of Montpelier, has put itself on the high performance building map. Leading the way is the new “Whitchurch Passive House Cottage” – not only in terms of energy efficiency (Passive House certification is in the works), but also as a unique and adventurous example of “form follows function”. The project […]

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August 27, 2014 tigerontightrope

5 Things Greenpeace Can Teach Passive House Advocates

The publication Business Insider has a fantastic “must read” article, The Inside Story Of How Greenpeace Built A Corporate Spanking Machine To Turn The Fortune 500 Into Climate Heroes by Aaron Gell. Greenpeace has not given up their flair for the dramatic either – quite the contrary – the article opens with a made-for-the-movies jaw-dropping stunt, ostensibly to save tigers, at Proctor & […]

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July 31, 2014 ecocorencors200x200

Heavy-Duty Window Flashing by Chris Corson Using Extoseal Encors

We had the opportunity to meet up with Chris Corson, Technical Director for EcoCor High Performance Building Systems (formerly, EcoCor Design / Build), on a significant new project in Woodstock, NY. Ecocor is now in process of unveiling a modular building process that focuses on creating low-carbon building envelopes. The design is familiar for those who have read the industry journal articles on the panelized […]

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July 24, 2014 Jane Sanders

475 On-Site: Historic Brownstone Passive House Retrofit in Brooklyn, NY

Architect and homeowner Jane Sanders gives us a tour of her historic brownstone retrofit in Park Slope, Brooklyn, preparing for EnerPHit certification through the Passive House Institute. Build With Prospect CEO Jeremy Shannon points out details and lessons learned on this project, which is the 6th Passive House retrofit accomplished by his team.

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June 27, 2014 NY14PHspeakerimage

Passive House Grows in New York

475 High Performance Building Supply (475) was proud to be a sponsor and active participant in the third annual NY14 Passive House Conference & Expo  in downtown Manhattan on June 17th.   The day kicked-off as 475 partner and NY Passive House President, Ken Levenson, welcomed the assembled group of over 375. The day featured Passive House […]

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