Cornell Tech is set to break ground this month on what will be the first high-rise Passive House construction in the world. Designed by New York-based firm Handel Architects, the green residential tower will be used as multi-family housing for Cornell’s new tech campus on Roosevelt Island when complete. According a report released by the university, the building will save 882 tons of CO2 per year compared to conventionally-constructed buildings.
Although New York is no stranger to Passive House design, the Cornell project will be the first high-rise tower in both the city and the world built to meet rigorous Passive House standards. The building will be used as multi-family housing for Cornell Tech and its partner university, Technion. The master plan for the campus also boasts features designed by SOM and Field Operations, as well as a building designed by Thom Mayne.
Designed to be an “iconic marker” for the prestigious university, the project will include a number of sustainable features. A pre-fabricated metal thermal blanket will insulate the entire structure and a louver system will hold the building’s heating and cooling systems. Additionally, a low-VOC paint will be used to limit off-gassing as well as improve the air quality around the building. One of the most innovative features will be the exterior paint, which will “naturally shift color from silver to warm champagne” in order to reflect light.