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Green Building News

Passive House Conference Opens in New York on June 27

On the schedule is a discussion of a six-story mass timber dormitory in Australia

A Passive House certified dormitory at an Australian university is one of the topics for discussion at the upcoming Passive House conference in New York City. [Image credit: JCB Architects]

A Passive House certified mass timber dormitory at Australia’s largest university is among the projects on the program for the North American Passive House Network (NAPHN) conference in New York City in June.

The six-story dorm on the campus of Monash University in Melbourne has room for 150 students and was built with cross-laminated timber (CLT) components. The 70,000-square-foot building is the largest of its kind in the country to win certification under the German Passive House standard, according to a description provided by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, which designed the building.

The project is part of the university’s plan to hit its net-zero carbon target by 2030.

Mass timber is picking up steam as an alternative to conventional concrete and steel construction for low- to mid-rise commercial and institutional buildings. Advocates promote it as an appealing alternative because mass timber buildings have a smaller carbon footprint, are made from renewable materials, and can be assembled in less time. Mass timber construction is still rare for residential construction.

The Monash dorm is one of a number of projects that will be covered in the two-day conference at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York, according to the schedule posted by NAPHN.

Other sessions will cover these projects:

  • A 140,000-square-foot medical research and educational building at the University of Leicester in the U.K. The George Davies Centre accommodates 2,400 occupants and includes theaters, research labs and teaching spaces.
  • A 150,000-square-foot Passive House retrofit of an office building in Brussels which salvaged the existing structure and repurposed materials to create a modern workplace.
  • An affordable senior multifamily project in the New York City borough of Queens. The mixed-use building is 58,000 square feet.

In addition, the schedule includes sessions on embodied carbon, a New York State Energy Research & Development multifamily program, and a discussion of how glass curtain-wall construction can be incorporated into Passive House buildings.

These sessions are scheduled for June 27 and 28. There also are two days of pre-conference workshops on June 25 and 26, plus tours scheduled for June 29. The keynote speaker is Jessica Grove-Smith, a physicist on the research staff of the Passive House Institute and the PHI representative for North America.

Early bird pricing is $429. The price rises to a standard price of $499 after April 30 ($599 at the door). Registration information is available here.


  1. jdailyjr | | #1

    How useful is this for homeowners/owner-builders looking to build a net-zero house in New York?

    1. hudson_valley_gregg | | #3

      I suspect it is extremely useful, John. It's a bit pricey, but if you're committed to building a net-zero house then it doesn't get any better than this.

  2. user-723121 | | #2


    I have only been to one Passive House Conference but you will find a conversation there as nowhere else. The level of knowledge regarding energy efficient construction techniques is good as can be found.

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