Construction is already underway at Cornell University's tech campus on Roosevelt Island, but there is still ground to be broken by the first residential building. The 250-foot-tall building will utilize passive house design and cut energy costs by as much as 90 percent, the Wall Street Journal reports. Passive design is different from the LEED certification system. First of all, you either achieve passive design or you don't, unlike the certified, silver, gold, and platinum LEED levels. Second, passive design relies on design more than materials. The 350-unit high-rise, due to open in 2017, will be nearly airtight and, with little power, will be able to maintain a 55-degree environment for days, even in cold weather.
The passive house movement started in Europe and is slowly growing in popularity on this side of the pond. A 68-unit rental building for seniors is planned at 54-15 101st Street in Corona, YIMBY reports. That building is also expected to be completed in 2017. Baxt Ingui Architects is also working on gut renovations to 10 New York City townhouses using passive design, WSJ reports.