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Passive House Multifamily - Polycrete ICF Construction

Constructing a 6-story apartment building in Brooklyn, New York, to meet Passive House standards posed several challenges and required innovative solutions. The owner sought energy efficiency through cost-effective means, leading to the use of ICF construction. 

Polycrete's expertise came into play due to the need for a reinforced concrete wall, insulated to R30, without thermal bridging, and maximizing living space on a tight urban lot.

Personalized training sessions and PolycreteUSA's commercial construction experience in tight urban environments ensured a successful project.

Passive House Multifamily


Task: The owner was planning a 6-story apartment building in Brooklyn, New York built to Passive House standards and wanted to use ICF construction to satisfy energy efficiency requirements in a cost-effective manner.

Challenge: The team needed to design a reinforced concrete wall insulated to R30 with no thermal bridging, while also maximizing living space for tenants within the constraints of a tight urban infill lot. The contractor did not have any previous experience with ICF construction. 

Solution: Utilizing Polycrete’s R-Stak supplemental insulation panels easily raised the R-value to 30 at a minimal cost, while our EPS foam window bucks increased insulation around openings and prevented the typical thermal bridging that occurs with wood and steel bucks. Polycrete also designed a special starter base that eliminated thermal bridging while maintaining perfect alignment at the wall/slab connection. In addition, we staged training sessions to bring the contractor up to speed on ICF building and installation.

Polycrete’s extensive experience with commercial construction and working in tight urban environments, plus our knowledge of and relationship with the NYC construction community, helped navigate project and job site complexities.

Here’s a link to The Brooklyn Home Company’s video on the project.

You can learn more about Passive House Multifamily from the Passive House Institute



Location: Brooklyn, New York

Type: Multifamily Residential

Size: 18,900 square feet (floor)

ICF Use: 12,000 square feet


Owner: The Brooklyn Home Company

Construction Manager: iFathom Construction

General Contractor: Nadkos Construction

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