Builder Salvatore Zarrella brings world’s most energy-efficient construction practice to Stamford just as White House announces new Passive House initiative
Stamford, Conn. – October 23, 2015 – William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty announced today that the company has listed two new construction properties in Stamford, Conn. that represent the city’s very first Passive House properties, built by Salvatore Zarrella of Construction Management Group, LLC, New Canaan, CT. The listings arrive just as the White House announces a new initiative in neighboring New York State to support the construction of more properties built to Passive House standards, considered the most energy efficient form of construction in the world.
The two properties, both located on Campbell Drive and surrounded by woodlands, are designed by Westport architect Lucien Vita of Vita Design Group. Stamford agent Walter Block has the listings, one a traditional farmhouse offered at $1,779,000, and the other an innovative modern home offered at $1,695,000.
“The homes are at once practical and beautiful, with a superior quality of building,” said Block. “The amount of interest we have generated so far in these properties, just from the initial design renderings alone, has been tremendous.”
Physicist Wolfgang Feist is credited with developing the standard for Passivhaus in Germany during the 1990s, including three simple critical elements: heating and cooling energy criteria, electrical usage and the air tightness of the building envelope—the home’s shell. As long as they meet these criteria, Passive Houses can be built in any architectural style with any building materials. A few passive buildings began to first appear in the U.S. in the 1970s and are only becoming more popular now, although the number of buildings certified under the Passivehaus Institute Standard (PHI) from Darmstadt, Germany in the US still are under a hundred, according to Zarrella.
“Passive Houses are 85%-90% more efficient than the average home, with a building envelope so air tight they effectively run on the amount of energy required from a blowdriver. Imagine essentially arriving at net zero for energy use—that is, a home that produces the same amount of or more energy than it consumes. How many problems could we solve then? If net zero is the Holy Grail in construction standards, going Passive first is the best way to get there,” said Zarrella.
Common techniques in Passive building include orienting the interiors to take full advantage of sunlight, with spaces such as closets and garages occupying areas of the home that would not benefit as much from the sun; adding thick, highly insulated walls; and installing European type airtight windows and heat recovery ventilation systems that exchange indoor and outdoor air efficiently and provide superior air quality. The heating and cooling systems are tiny compared to conventional construction. According to a New York Times story on the recent rise in Passive building in New York City, owners of Passive Houses experience lower energy bills, a quieter living environment and air that is so clean it can reduce asthmatic and allergy symptoms.
Notably, ground has recently broken on a high rise building in Manhattan for Cornell Tech campus that will be the tallest Passive House in the world. Currently, the tallest high rise Passive House is in Vienna, Austria.
About William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty
Founded in 1949, William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty manages a $3.3-billion-plus portfolio with more than 1,000 sales associates in 29 brokerages spanning Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Westchester County, New York. William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty is the largest Sotheby’s International Realty(R) affiliate globally and the 28th-largest real estate company by sales volume in the United States. A full-service real estate firm headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty provides ancillary services including commercial services through its affiliation with Building and Land Technology, a second-generation development company based in Stamford, Connecticut; William Pitt Insurance Services; and an award-winning global relocation division. For more information, visit the website at williampitt.com.
Sotheby’s International Realty’s worldwide network includes approximately 17,000 sales associates located in approximately 800 offices throughout 61 countries and territories.
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