Lois Arena
Senior Mechanical Engineer at Steven Winter Associates, Inc

In 2011, Cornell University had ambitious plans for sustainability including a net-zero academic building and a campus microgrid. Developers came up with a plan to build a high rise residential tower designed to Passive House standards, which will house students and faculty members. With 26 stories and over 350 apartments it will be the largest and tallest Passive House building in the world. We asked Greenbuild session presenter, Lois Arena, to tell us about session C07: The World’s Tallest Passive House: Lessons Learned.

GB: What makes you an expert in this area?

LA: I possess over 5 years experience as a PH consultant, and have certified 7 projects to date.  I am currently working on more than 1/2 dozen large scale PH projects in the Northeast.

GB: Why is the topic of your session important?

LA: This project is the first of its kind.  It is a 26 story, high rise apartment building with over 352 apartments.  When completed and verified, it will be the tallest and largest PH building in the world.  Because of this, the project team has learned valuable information of implementing PH on a large scale.  Sharing this information will be beneficial to the entire building community.

GB: Why should Greenbuild attendees attend YOUR session specifically?

LA: This session will provide perspectives from the developers, architect and consultant, creating a very rounded view of what it takes to apply the PH standard on a large scale.

GB: What’s the most interesting experience you’ve had in the green building/sustainability world?

LA: Entering the PH realm has really been the most interesting experience.  Being so new to the US, the standard is actually ahead of available technology, creating the need for some very creative thinking.  In the five years I’ve been consulting on this standard, I have seen the influx of new, high efficiency products soar, as well as the number of building professionals who are embracing this level of efficiency.  It’s a very exciting time for the energy efficient building sector.

Chris Garvin Partner, Terrapin Bright Green

Chris Garvin
Partner, Terrapin Bright Green

Greenbuild Program Working Group member, Chris Garvin, Partner, Terrapin Bright Green says that this session is interesting because “As we work on strategies to achieve 80% GHG reduction by 2050, projects like this dormitory on Roosevelt Island are critical examples of where the industry needs to quickly move. I also love the integration of building science with construction, something we see too little in our industry.”


Luke Falk

Assistant Vice President at Related Companies

New York, New York

Arianna Sacks Rosenberg

Senior Project Manager at The Hudson Companies Inc.

New York, New York

Deborah Moelis

Senior Associate at Handel Architects

New York, New York


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