Passive Houses come in all shapes, sizes, materials, and climate zones. Julie Torres Moskovitz showcases them beautifully in her new book, The Greenest Home: Superinsulated and Passive House Design (Princeton Architectural Press, $45), which includes 18 case studies of houses that meet the program’s rigorous standards for heating and cooling demand, energy use, and an airtight envelope. The collection intersperses U.S. projects with a handful in Japan, Europe, and Canada.
Moskovitz is more than an observer; her firm, Fabrica718, retrofitted New York City’s first certified Passive House. This project appears in the book, an example of the often complex process of turning old buildings into energy-sipping shells.
The Greenest Home is valuable, and not just because it documents the first wave of Passive Houses built in the States. Moskovitz quotes Architecture 2030 founder and CEO Edward Mazria, who says that “by the year 2035, approximately 75 percent of the built environment (in the United States) will be either new or renovated.”
“It’s an opportunity,” she adds, “that should not be missed.”