The North American Passive House Network Board of Directors Has Appointed Ken Levenson Executive Director

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The national education non-profit taps a founding member as first Executive Director.

Bronwyn Barry, the North American Passive House Network (NAPHN) Board of Directors Chair, has announced the appointment of Ken Levenson as Executive Director, effective immediately.

“In planning to grow NAPHN’s capacity, reach, and effectiveness, we are delighted to appoint Ken Levenson as our first Executive Director. His record as a professional with a long track record in the Passive House movement, combined with his exemplary commitment to NAPHN is unparalleled. It bodes well for the success of our community,” said Bronwyn Barry, in announcing the appointment.

In 2010, Ken was a founding board member of New York Passive House (NYPH) and the Passive House Alliance. In 2011 he was a founder of NAPHN, and also co-founded 475 High Performance Building Supply, a company dedicated to Passive House building. He served as the company’s COO until late 2019. For the past year, Ken has been increasingly focused on volunteer efforts for the global climate civil disobedience group Extinction Rebellion (XR).

In addition to XR volunteering Ken has been volunteering full-time on the successful production of the groundbreaking online NAPHN 2020 conference, as it shifted at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, from a two-day in-person event to an event spread out over six weeks - that recently concluded. Ken plans to build on this momentum, in growing NAPHN educational programs and community-building activities.

“The conference ended up playing out not just during a pandemic but during the Black Lives Matter protests too, and both affected me deeply,” said Ken, “reinforcing the direct connections between climate crisis imperatives and what it means to deliver truly sustainable communities for all. In this context, I look forward to energizing NAPHN efforts, working with professionals, policymakers, and developers, to enhance our metrics of success.”

Levenson went on to say, “2020 is a frightening year, and the risks are many, but so too is a growing awareness as to root problems and their solutions. Given this, I believe NAPHN is uniquely positioned to leverage the cumulative knowledge of our global Passive House movement, and our shared American experience, to help drive industry transformation across the US. Society can’t just survive. We need to thrive. It is our mission.”

Raised in Southern Vermont, Ken graduated from Pratt Institute with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1989 and then practiced architecture in New York City until 2011. Ken lives in Brooklyn NY, with his wife, the investigative journalist, Katherine Eban, two daughters, and their Newfoundland dog, Romeo.

About NAPHN:
The North American Passive House Network (NAPHN) is an independent national non-profit educational organization, based in New York, and affiliated with the International Passive House Association (iPHA) and the Passive House Institute (PHI), located in Darmstadt, Germany.

NAPHN has chapters based in New Jersey (, Washington DC (, the Rocky Mountain Region (, Minnesota ( and Western Pennsylvania (

NAPHN supports the widespread adoption of the international Passive House design and construction standards, building science principles and protocols, as a critical response to our climate crisis - providing unparalleled effectiveness in mitigating climate disruptions and adapting to rapidly changing environmental conditions.

NAPHN is focused on the inflection point between policy and implementation. We partner with leading stakeholders across all building sectors, including governments, professional associations, manufacturers, owners, builders, labor organizations, and educational institutions – to make the transformation complete.

About Passive House:
Passive House is an international building standard and methodology, applicable to buildings of all kinds from office buildings to hospitals, new-build and renovations, that results in a dramatic
drop in operational energy use, and more comfortable and healthy occupants - meant to aggressively mitigate our climate crisis while providing resilient adaptation.

The Passive House Standard was developed by the Passive House Institute (PHI), an independent scientific research organization, located in Darmstadt, Germany, and includes specific requirements for energy use and comfort of occupants. The Passive House Standard is being successfully applied to thousands of buildings and millions of square feet around the world, from Boston to Beijing.

The Passive House methodology starts with reducing cooling, dehumidification and heating loads by focusing, not on gadgets and active technology, but instead on fully integrated durable passive building components, such as proper continuous thermal-bridge-free insulation, continuous airtightness, high-performance windows and doors, and ventilation that includes a high-efficiency heat/energy recovery core, carefully calculated, and all integrated with the entire architectural process of design and construction.

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