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German-Inspired Passive House Design Gains Popularity in Chicago

A German-inspired energy efficiency standard known as Passive House, is gaining favor in the multifamily industry in Chicago, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Passive House design focuses on features such as triple-paned windows and wraparound insulation, as well as ventilation systems. The result is a reduced carbon footprint, improved air quality, and lower costs for tenants. The Passive House standard can lead to a 40%-60% reduction in energy, according to Phius, a Chicago-based nonprofit that certifies Passive House buildings.

Multifamily developers have begun to embrace Passive House amid industry changes and to comply with city and state building energy codes. There are seven Phius-certified multifamily developments underway or completed in the Chicago area, including the Fifth City Commons property.

Chicago’s building code was changed to accommodate the Passive House standard in 2022 with the adoption of the Chicago Energy Transformation Code, which allows Phius-certified buildings as an alternative method of compliance with building energy codes.


Inside The Story

Chicago TribunePhius

About Jasmine Kilman

Jasmine Kilman is Content Director of Connect Commercial Real Estate, covering Chicago and greater Chicagoland, the Midwest, Seattle, and the Pacific Northwest. She covers industry trends, transaction deals, market research, and produces daily news stories. With experience in marketing and communications for academic nonprofits and corporate clients, including Hearst Media, Hilton, and Coldwell Banker, Kilman has written about commercial real estate, environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG), technology, healthcare, and philanthropy. She was born and raised in California and graduated with a degree in public relations. In her spare time, Kilman enjoys hiking and traveling to new locations with her family.

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