Wicked Local: Newton firm takes active steps on Passive House construction


By Julie M. Cohen – jcohen@wickedlocal.com
Posted to newton.wickedlocal.com

Depending on construction methods and materials, old and new buildings alike can act as leaky buckets, where heat seeps out and energy costs are high. However, some local construction industry and environmental leaders say a “Passive House,” by contrast, is tightly sealed so only a small amount of energy is needed to ensure comfort while utility bills plummet.

In fact, Nick Falkoff, Dan Ruben and Aaron Gunderson want Newton residents to know Passive Houses actively save building owners money while helping the environment due to innovative construction principals, materials and design.

Ruben, chairman of Green Newton; Gunderson, executive director for Passive House Massachusetts (PHM); and Falkoff, owner of Auburndale Builders, recently gathered at the first Passive House-certified commercial retrofit building in Newton – Falkoff’s office – located at 151R Adams St., to explain why this type of construction may be the standard in the near future.

According to PHM, “Passive House significantly reduces the carbon footprint of a home while making a comfortable, healthy, and affordable environment.”

“This is the way the world is going,” said Ruben.

“I believe in climate change,” said Falkoff, a PHM board member. “Passive House makes a lot of sense if you’re trying to reduce carbon emissions.”