As the tallest passive house building in the world at 26 stories, The House at Cornell Tech, designed by Handel Architects, features an innovative system of prefabricated metal panels. Triple-pane windows, mineral wool insulation and air and vapor barriers were factory-sealed into large, single-story curtainwall assemblies and then hoisted on to the building as fully integrated units. The super-tight insulation, combined with highly efficient heating, cooling and fresh-air circulation systems, reduces energy consumption by 70%, as compared to conventional designs.
To really make the design pop, Handel worked with PPG to custom color the façade with Duranar MXL coatings. “We were looking for a paint that would be dynamic—one that would add depth and life to the façades,” adds Deborah Moelis, principal, Handel Architects, New York City.