New York’s Real Climate Challenge: Fixing Its Aging Buildings

10 February 2021

Nearly 70 percent of the city’s total carbon emissions come from buildings. A project to retrofit nine buildings with green technology is pioneering a new solution.

The Casa Pasiva retrofit project is the first of its kind in New York. The city and New York State have zeroed in on buildings in pursuit of meaningful cuts to carbon.Credit…John Muggenborg for The New York Times

Casa Pasiva was the brainchild of the architect Chris Benedict, a longtime partner on passive house projects with RiseBoro. She drew inspiration from Energiesprong, a Dutch process that uses standardized, premade building panels with built-in heating and cooling systems to upgrade older buildings. In the United States, and New York in particular, the wide variety of housing types, as well as differing climates, makes the standardized Dutch approach unfeasible.

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