Positive Energy from Positive Change: Achieving High Performance in Affordable Housing

Affordable housing is key to bringing equity to disadvantaged communities. In Boston, the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) design guidelines are pushing affordable housing with strict requirements that are equal to Passive House performance standards.

We will look at two similarly sized multi-family affordable housing projects that took different approaches to systems selections, and the architectural opportunities and constraints that drove those decisions. Going beyond the enclosure, we will discuss the roadmap of decision making that forms the project scope. We will examine the tools, policy changes, and processes that have made achieving Passive House easier, as well as touch on the funding mechanisms that made the development viable.

Session Chair(s): 

Event Time: 

Monday, February 28, 2022 - 2:30pm to 3:30pm

Room / Location:
Harbor 3

CEU Information: 

Attendance for each full conference day offers 4.5 credit hours for both RESNET and MA CSL licensure.

CEU Credits: 

BPI: 1 Hour
GBCI: 1 Hour (BD+C, WELL)
NARI: 1 Hour
PHIUS: 1 Hour

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the benefits of different system approaches through a comparison of two similar sized affordable housing projects designed to Passive House standards.
  • Apply communication and management tools derived from lessons learned between architects and engineers, to arrive at the best system selections for the project.
  • Identify specific details for energy modeling in THERM to guide the best location for insulation and to mitigate thermal bridging and moisture problems.
  • Explore the challenges of mechanical system locations and deciding if solar thermal fits within the project goals with review of case studies evaluating the pros and cons of different options.

Session ID: