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Project of the Year – Public Use

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Project of the Year – Public Use
Recognising and celebrating the new build that most effectively demonstrates high levels of user satisfaction and comfort while delivering outstanding measured building performance. Creating this type of exemplar building is demanding and the BPA recognises the work and dedication of the team.

Winner: The House at Cornell Tech – Buro Happold

The hub of student life at Cornell Tech, the House forms the cornerstone of the university’s 2.1 million square foot Roosevelt Island Technology Campus in New York City.

For its holistic integration of engineering, social aspects and lessons learned, this 26-storey, 270-ft tall building with 352 apartments for student and faculty housing has won Buro Happold this year’s Public Use Project of the Year.

At the time of its design and construction, The House became the world’s tallest and largest Passivhaus-certified project. By achieving dual certification for Passivhaus and LEED Platinum, the design approach at The House provides an exemplar model for future proofed multifamily residential design. Achieved LEED credits include use of high albedo materials to reduce the heat island effect, stormwater control and thermal comfort (current and future climate).

The building is a flat-slab concrete structure with careful attention to thermal breaks at the boundaries. The envelope is a pre-fabricated metal panel system with triple-glazed windows inserted and sealed in the shop. Fresh air is tempered and delivered via energy recovery ventilators, with heating and cooling provided with air-cooled VRF in a floor-by-floor design to overcome height and refrigerant charge restrictions.
 
During the concept design stage, the team – including Hudson Companies, Cornell University, Related Companies, Handel Architects, and Buro Happold – defined Passivhaus certification as a sustainability target that would capture key priorities for the building, including energy efficiency, greenhouse gas reductions, comfort, and indoor air quality.
 
Judges praised the Buro Happold team for using the challenge of the annual re-education of new student tenants about how to live in a passivhaus building to improve performance. And they were impressed that future-proofing was built into the fabric, not just the tech.
 
In its submission, Buro Happold said: ‘We are excited to see the growth in Passivhaus globally to other large-scale projects, and we are exceedingly proud of and humbled by the opportunity we had with this project team for The House at Cornell Tech.’
 
Project Team
Building Services Consultant: Buro Happold
Architect: Handel Architects
Main Contractor: Monadnock Construction
Developer: Hudson Companies, Related Companies, Cornell University
Facade Consulting: Vidaris;
Sustainability Consulting: Steven Winter Associates

Shortlist
Beecroft Building, University of Oxford
Hoare Lea, Monash Gillies Hall – AECOM
Streatham and Clapham High School - OR Consulting Engineers
UCL Student Centre – BDP
Windermere Jetty Museum - Arup