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Ultra-Efficient Apartment Buildings In Portland And Boston Are Part Of “Big Wave”

Jesse Thompson of Kaplan Thomas Architects and the Portland Housing Authority’s Jay Waterman on top of ultra-efficient Bayside Anchor apartments in Portland, Maine. Photo by Fred Bever for Maine Public

A new type of energy-efficient construction is drawing attention in the U.S. It’s called “passive housing” — residences built to achieve ultra-low energy use. It’s so efficient that developers can eliminate central heating systems altogether.

Imported from Germany, it’s been a boutique building style until recently, with eco-minded home owners making costly upfront investments to downsize their carbon footprints. But now, New England is joining a surge in large-scale passive housing development.

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