Largest Passive House development in North America certified in Pittsburgh

Largest Passive House development in North America certified in Pittsburgh

Photo courtesy of The Community Builders

Hillcrest Residences has become the largest confirmed Passive House Institute U.S. certified (PHIUS) development in North America by square footage and number of units, according to a release from the developer.

The new, energy-efficient senior housing development brings 66 apartment homes and community space to Pittsburgh’s Carrick neighborhood. Hillcrest was developed and is owned by The Community Builders (TCB), a leading nonprofit developer of affordable and mixed-income housing. 

The voluntary PHIUS process adheres to rigorous energy efficiency standards that reduce a building’s ecological footprint and results in ultra-low operating costs, requiring little energy for heating or cooling. According to RDL Architects, Passive House developments in the Pennsylvania climate zone on average consume 86 percent less energy on heating and 46 percent less energy for cooling compared with code-compliant buildings.  

Passive House standards are performance-based. At Hillcrest, those standards were achieved by using highly efficient heat pumps in combination with energy recovery ventilation units. 

Construction is air-tight and highly-insulated, keeping the building temperature regulated for residents despite extreme weather. The high levels of insulation and triple-glazed windows help keep the building quiet despite busy, main street traffic. 

In addition, filtered air-exchange systems maintain high indoor air quality aiding against indoor pollutants.

A longtime partner in the city, TCB owns and/or manages 401 housing units in Pittsburgh. Significant funding for Hillcrest’s $15.8M total development cost came from Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority.


Topics: Architectural Firms, Building Owners and Managers, Certifications, Construction Firms, Environmental Firms, Mixed Use Communities/Developments & Buildings, Multifamily / Multiunit Residential, Passive House / Passivhaus, Sustainable Communities, Urban Planning and Design


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