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A 'Passive House' in Prospect Heights

Designer of the eco-conscious house on St. Marks Avenue hopes it will become the first "passive house" in the city.

The designer of the red brick house at 96 St. Marks Avenue (between Flatbush and Carlton avenues) hopes it will become the first house in the city built (in this case, retrofitted) to meet the rigorous standards of the eco-friendly German-based Passive House Institute, says the New York Observer.

The article says that part of becoming certified as a “passive house” means maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature “without really using active heating or cooling systems,” which will reduce the house’s energy consumption by 90 percent.

The secret to a passive house, says the Observer, is in extra insulation and proper ventilation. That means triple-paned windows, six inches of cellulose, plastic sheeting, and layers of a waterproofing/air barrier compound called Sto Gold.

The Passivhaus Institut, which sets the passive house standard, estimates that there are about 32,000 passive houses worldwide, but less than 20 houses certified in the U.S., according to the article.

The Observer says that developer Brendan Aguayo has not yet set prices for the building’s units (three two-bedrooms, and a duplex on the first floor), but says he’s had a lot of interest in the building so far.

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