Kensington-based design firm Onion Flats has teamed with the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority to create the country's first net-zero apartment building. The net-zero designation is applied by the Passive House Institute, which has a very thorough wiki (the passipedia) to help you understand the notion of a passive building. It's something of a misnomer because in order to qualify for a passive designation, a building has to generate as much energy as it consumes. So it's actually kind of passive-aggressive.
The Philly project will be called Ridge Flats and have 130 apartments, a retail corridor along Calumet Street and Ridge Ave., a parking structure—and no heat. We're guessing the latter part of that sentence will be the tough sell.