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Passivhaus High-Rise

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Tell us about your Passivhaus

Tall buildings are often demonised as climate-destructive architecture and tend to be the worst offenders in terms of energy-guzzling & carbon-intensive structures. However, thanks to the favourable form factors, tall buildings lend themselves well to meeting Passivhaus standards. 

Generally, the external surface area to internal volume produces an efficient shape (lower number) that requires less insulation to satisfy Passivhaus criteria. However, airtightness detailing, thermal bridging, & ventilation strategies all need far more care & attention. Still relatively rare – robust quality assurance is critical. Below is a selection of tall Passivhaus buildings (both newbuild & retrofit) from around the globe. Check the links under further information for useful reports & more.



World's first Passivhaus Tower certified in Vienna Palmerston Court, Battersea © AHMM. Aiming for Passivhaus
Bolueta Passivhaus © VArquitectos. Certified Passivhaus
Tianjin City 30 story tower. © Studio STI Architects. Certified Passivhaus Inspira Lezkairu, © VArquitectos. Certified Passivhaus Austrian office block © Hermann Kaufmann ZT GmbH. Certified Passivhaus
2 Trafalgar Way © Apt/ Urbanest. Aiming for Passivhaus
Sendero Verde.  © Handel Architects. Phase 1 Certified Passivhaus
42 Broad In Mt Vernon, New York © 42 Broad. Aiming for Passivhaus
The House at Cornell Tech, New York © Handel Architects. Certified Passivhaus Winthrop Center, Boston. © MP Boston. Aiming for Passivhaus 425 Grand Concourse, Bronx. © Trinity Financial. Passive House (PHIUS+ 2018) certified


Ageing post-war apartment towers, often providing affordable housing across the UK, increasingly face complex challenges that require repair. As we look towards a post-pandemic recovery amid a climate-challenged world, there’s an urgency to apply this type of holistic deep-retrofit thinking on a broader scale.

Administration building for the Austrian. Social Insurance. © Chaix & Morel et associés. Certified EnerPHit Plus Hotel Marcel New Haven © Becker & Becker. Certified EnerPHit Wilhelminian style building apartments © Trimmel Wall Architekten ZTGmbH. Certified EnerPHi
Ken Sobel Tower © ERA Architects. Certified EnerPHit Vienna University of Technology high-rise. Certified EnerPHit Premium Cedar Cedar Court © Andrew Lee / Collective Architecture. Aiming for EnerPHit

The project stages are correct at March 2024.


Further Information

Large & Complex Passivhaus Masterclass 2024 series

Large & Complex Passivhaus Masterclass 2022 series: On-demand

Guidance: Passivhaus Quality Assurance: Large & Complex Buildings

Guidance: Passivhaus benefits

Guidance: The case for MVHR

Guidance: Good practice guide to airtightness

Guidance: Good practice guide to MVHR for single dwellings

Guidance: Thermal bypass risks guide

Guidance: Good practice guide to insulation

Guidance: Passivhaus and embodied carbon

Guidance: Passivhaus & Zero Carbon

Passivhaus on-demand training

Previous PHT story - Battersea Passivhaus high-rise underway - 3 November 2021

Allies & Morrison: PassivTower: Sustainable housing for the high density city

iPHA: Aiming high: Passivhaus high-rise buildings - 17 March 2021