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July 19, 2013
A new book on passive houses by designer Julie Torres Moskovitz highlights the super-green homes of our sustainable present (and future).
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  First things first: What's a Passive House? They're well insulated, virtually airtight buildings who must meet strict energy efficiency requirements. The benefit is that building passive can decrease home heating consumption by an astounding 90% and decrease overall energy consumption up to 75%. Here, a mixed-use building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with a single-family home atop a retail space, all designed by Loadingdock5. Photo by: Raimund Koch.  Courtesy of Raimund Koch.
    First things first: What's a Passive House? They're well insulated, virtually airtight buildings who must meet strict energy efficiency requirements. The benefit is that building passive can decrease home heating consumption by an astounding 90% and decrease overall energy consumption up to 75%. Here, a mixed-use building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with a single-family home atop a retail space, all designed by Loadingdock5. Photo by: Raimund Koch. Courtesy of Raimund Koch.
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  The interior of an urban passive house by Loadingdock5, located at 174 Grand Street in Brooklyn. Photo by: Raimund Koch.  Courtesy of Raimund Koch.
    The interior of an urban passive house by Loadingdock5, located at 174 Grand Street in Brooklyn. Photo by: Raimund Koch. Courtesy of Raimund Koch.
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  Little Compton Retreat in Little Compton, Rhode Island, completed by ZeroEnergy Design in 2011. Photo by: Greg Premru.  Courtesy of Greg Premru.
    Little Compton Retreat in Little Compton, Rhode Island, completed by ZeroEnergy Design in 2011. Photo by: Greg Premru. Courtesy of Greg Premru.
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  South-facing windows, bedrooms situated at each end of a simple gabled structure, and a sleeping loft maximize both energy efficiency and an open, airy feeling in this Rhode Island vacation home by ZeroEnergy Design. Photo by: Greg Premru.  Courtesy of Greg Premru.
    South-facing windows, bedrooms situated at each end of a simple gabled structure, and a sleeping loft maximize both energy efficiency and an open, airy feeling in this Rhode Island vacation home by ZeroEnergy Design. Photo by: Greg Premru. Courtesy of Greg Premru.
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  Orient House (2012) on Long Island was an existing structure retrofitted by Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects to conform to Passive House green standards.  Courtesy of Ty Cole.

    Orient House (2012) on Long Island was an existing structure retrofitted by Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects to conform to Passive House green standards.

    Courtesy of Ty Cole.
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  An existing 1970s house was renovated to Passive House standards of construction, though the north-facing views and sheets of glass prevented it from meeting true Passive House energy calculations. The architects, Ryall Porter Sheridan, estimate that its "the second most energy-efficient structure on Long Island." Photo by: Ty Cole.  Courtesy of Ty Cole.
    An existing 1970s house was renovated to Passive House standards of construction, though the north-facing views and sheets of glass prevented it from meeting true Passive House energy calculations. The architects, Ryall Porter Sheridan, estimate that its "the second most energy-efficient structure on Long Island." Photo by: Ty Cole. Courtesy of Ty Cole.
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  The Greenest Home by Julie Torres Moskovitz is out now from Princeton Architectural Press; buy it on Amazon here.  Courtesy of Princeton Architectural Press.
    The Greenest Home by Julie Torres Moskovitz is out now from Princeton Architectural Press; buy it on Amazon here. Courtesy of Princeton Architectural Press.
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Passive House in Brooklyn by Loadingdock5
First things first: What's a Passive House? They're well insulated, virtually airtight buildings who must meet strict energy efficiency requirements. The benefit is that building passive can decrease home heating consumption by an astounding 90% and decrease overall energy consumption up to 75%. Here, a mixed-use building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with a single-family home atop a retail space, all designed by Loadingdock5. Photo by: Raimund Koch. Image courtesy of Raimund Koch.

Brooklyn-based architectural designer Julie Torres Moskovitz completed New York's first certified Passive House last year in Park Slope, which Dwell highlighted in our April 2013 issue. Also in 2013, Torres Moskovitz published her first book, The Greenest Home, with Princeton Architectural Press. The book profiles 18 of the world's greenest houses by the likes of Architectural Research Office, Bernheimer Architecture (one half of the former Della Valle Bernheimer), Olson Kundig Architects, Onion Flats, and more. Here are three homes highlighted in the book, from Brooklyn to Rhode Island.

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