About Us

Our work strives to enhance our sense of surroundings, identity and relationship to others and the physical spaces we inhabit, whether feral or human-made.

Selected Awards
  • 2004 — Aga Khan Award for Architecture
  • 2009 — Mies van der Rohe Award
  • 2013 — AIA/ALA Library Building Award
  • 2015 — Best Interior, Designers Saturday
  • 2016 — AIA New York Honor Award

Blog News

five key design principles.

reduced energy use.

increased interior hygiene + comfort.

Passive House (Passivhaus)? A brief Intro.

2021.01.01

Interested in learning more? Visit the following websites for more information:

 

Passive House Canada | Maison Passive Canada

passivehousecanada.com

 

International Passive House Association (iPHA)

passivehouse-international.org

 

Passive House Institute

passivehouse.com

passiv.de

 

Passipedia

passipedia.org

 

Passive House Database

passivehouse-database.org

A Passive House is a building, for which thermal comfort (ISO 7730) can be achieved solely by post-heating or post-cooling of the fresh air mass, which is required to achieve sufficient indoor air quality conditions – without the need for additional recirculation of air. (Source: passipedia.org)

5 design principles.

The Passive House Standard is an envelope first approach focused on five key design principles, including:
  • increased insulation
  • airtightness
  • thermal bridge free,
  • high quality windows (with solar orientation),
  • and ventilation system with heat recovery
This voluntary standard is achievable in most climates. It is performance based to ensure that the design concept meets the desired indoor thermal comfort and air quality requirements within a given climate zone.

Thinking about energy savings?

Certified Passive House buildings can result in up to 90% less energy consumption compared to conventional buildings. Should a building not fully comply with the ambitious Certified Passive House criteria than a less stringent PHI Low Energy Building Standard could be sought to also benefit from increased energy efficiency. EnerPHIT Certification was established specifically for renovation/refurbishment projects should pursuing the Passive House Standard not be feasible. EnerPHIT utilizes Certified Passive House Components or through an alternative energy demand method to achieve significant energy savings (up to 75%-90%)

Not just for residential buildings.

The name ‘Passive House’ may incorrectly lead some people to surmise that the standard only applies to residential buildings. However, Passive House principles can be applied to single- and multi-family residential, commercial buildings (such as office + retail) and institutional projects; too name a few.

More benefits than just energy savings

To meet the Passive House Standard high quality building components must be used resulting in high quality buildings. The increased cost of these components, compared to those used in most conventional approaches, may be recovered over the long term due to increased energy savings (dependent on local energy costs). Further, the increasing popularity of the standard may suggest that certified components are becoming cheaper locally thus making a passive house more affordable than in the past. The performance and evidence based approach ensures that the Passive House Standard will be achieved. This may differ from a prescriptive method of energy modelling in that, following construction completion, buildings may not actually perform according to design specifications. Quality assurance is an integral part of the certification process. A Passive House Certifier is required to comprehensively review the required design documents prior to construction. This requires more effort during the design phase but this is important when seeking a high standard of energy efficiency. An occupant may experience increased levels of comfort in a passive house. Reduced drafts, more stable temperatures across rooms throughout the year, better acoustical separation betweeen interior and exterior, and the constant supply of fresh air (increasing indoor air quality) are some of the reasons why a Passive House may feel more comfortable to inhabitants.

Is Passivhaus for you?

Passive House may be something to consider should you be committed to reducing energy consumption, looking for cost savings over the long term, seeking a high performance building, and/ or desire to increase the interior air quality of your space.

Interested? Let’s chat.

catalogue