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Constructing multifamily housing buildings to Passive House standards can be done at cost parity

Multifamily Housing

Constructing multifamily housing buildings to Passive House standards can be done at cost parity

All-electric multifamily projects can be built at same cost as conventionally designed buildings, according to a new report.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | August 23, 2023
Constructing multifamily housing buildings to Passive House standards can be done at cost parity -Photo by Ryan Franco on Unsplash
Photo by Ryan Franco on Unsplash

All-electric multi-family Passive House projects can be built at the same cost or close to the same cost as conventionally designed buildings, according to a report by the Passive House Network.

The report included a survey of 45 multi-family Passive House buildings in New York and Massachusetts in recent years. The average cost to construct those buildings was 3.7% more than standard, and in some cases cheaper when factoring in incentive programs.

The report also found that Passive House buildings have reduced energy usage of 30% to 50% when compared to conventionally built properties. “In some cases, these bills are eliminated entirely,” according to a Passive House network news release.

Construction of Passive House buildings has surged since 2018, but Passive House accounts for less than 1% of all multi-family construction started in the U.S. during the past decade. About half of all Passive House projects being built in the U.S. are affordable housing projects, illustrating the cost-effectiveness of green building design, the release says.

The report found that construction of all-electric, multi-family Passive House buildings, including market-rate and affordable housing, is primed to soar in early-mover states such as Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts. “This is due to a combination of bold policy requirements in new energy codes as well as utility-funded incentive programs, energy efficiency programs, and the Inflation Reduction Act.”

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