Deborah Moelis: Guiding University of Toronto to Passive House

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“We are trying to do our part. I am trying to do my part in this crazy climate crisis,” Deborah Moelis, principal with Handel Architects, said as she launched into her presentation at this past week’s Happy Hour. Her part in the University of Toronto’s 9‑story, 752-bed Passive House dormitory was to fight to keep Passive House performance as a project goal from “day one to 100% DD (design development) when our scope ended,” as she said.

That advocacy was sorely needed and tested time and time again as this project faced significant hurdles, including its location in a very cold climate, a dining hall with a very high energy-use intensity, and an occupancy density that pushed up its source energy use intensity. Limitations in the supply chain for Passive House-quality products didn’t help either. Watch the video recap to learn about the tips and tools Moelis used to keep the university focused on achieving Passive House certification and meeting its own stated health, wellness, and sustainability goals.

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Author: Mary James