When JWA had the unique opportunity to transform a Brooklyn brownstone into a complete Passive House, it was a turning point in our evolution as Green Building architects. Our leaders are all LEED Accredited Professionals, and we are passionate advocates of Passive House design and practices as we consider it a cost-effective way to be energy efficient. The concept emphasizes energy efficiency, and we encourage our clients to adopt these principles when designing their new constructions.


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Location: Brooklyn, NY
Completed: 2015
Description: Located in Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights neighborhood, this 1910 Row Home has been completely renovated and includes a new addition and excavated cellar. The house is fully retrofitted with the latest Passive House technologies and insulation standards. With skylights throughout, large bay windows, and sliding glass doors, this single family home is filled natural light. Expert design and craftsmanship has brought this century old property to state-of-the-art standards while paying respect to its original character. Click here for more photos.

“It is amazing how one is accustomed - from a history of living in poorly insulated houses one’s entire life - to feeling the air get colder and draftier as you approach the windows. But in this PH (Passive House) home, you get right up to the window and even on very cold days the air feels basically the same as it does anywhere in the house. with the possible exception of North facing windows on the very coldest days but still it’s pretty comfy. But on the other hand, the air nearest the South facing windows can be quite a bit warmer than the rest of the house and hopefully the ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator) is grabbing that heat and putting it to use elsewhere.”

-Home Owner


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Location: New York, NY
To Be Completed: 2019
Description: Building within NYC is notoriously complex and this new, 5-story, multi-family project on 22nd Street in Chelsea has experienced every hurdle possible.  While the Passive House detailing is elegant in its simplicity, the execution has been complicated by the nature of building within an urban environment (neighbors) and site conditions that include bedrock and encroachments at the foundation. Each challenge required creative solutions while maintaining focus on the goal of achieving Passive House standards without sacrificing budget or schedule.

Envisioned as a family compound, the 9,500 SF building includes 3 units total – 2 duplexes with a simplex between them.  Achieving Passive House standards has been a project goal since day 1, a priority for the client who values energy efficiency from a moral and economic standpoint.  The building features exterior insulation with a fiber cement rain screen, triple glazed windows, a split system Heating/AC and ERV.



Location: New York, NY
To Be Completed: 2020