The World's Largest Passive House Building

This building features state-of-the-art energy saving solutions such as Systemair's Topvex Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) units that contribute to a Passive House designation

2nd & Delaware

The Passive House Institute is the leading standard in energy-efficient construction, superior even to the highest LEED standards. This standard is highlighted by these structures, which consume 90 percent less energy than comparable buildings. 

Consumes 90% less energy

Compared to a 2015 high-rise, this building uses 90% less primary energy (in kBtu/yr)

Two Topvex ERVs per floor

Because of it's high Electronically Commutated (EC) motor efficiency and energy recovery of 75%, Systemair's Topvex units beat out the competition and were chosen to ventilate the building

Designed to last

The building is designed to last for 200+ years thanks to the concrete structure


Arnold Development


Clockwork Architecture + Design

MEP Engineer

Staengl Engineering

Civil Engineer

SK Design Group

Construction Manager

Haren & Laughlin Construction Inc


Jonathan Arnold, Dana Gibson,
Jonathan Cohn, Cliff Cohn

The Location

Located in a part of Downtown Kansas City, known to locals as, "The River Market", Second + Delaware offers residents a quaint retreat from the hustle & bustle of city life.

While "city life" is just around the corner, these apartments offer sustainable amenities like a rooftop garden and an outdoor saltwater swimming pool. In the middle of the structure on the ground level is a large courtyard surrounded by ample outdoor seating, fire pits, and outdoor grills.

Other popular amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, Google Fiber, an electric car charging station, a conference room, a business center, a yoga studio, a spinning/cycling room, and an onsite controlled-access garage for guests and residents.

The site itself features two buildings 7 stories high with a 2 level garage underneath, 276 dwelling units that range from 550 SF to 1,245 SF, and over 550,000 SF in gross space.

The Buildings

Designed to last for 200+ years, these structures are built with sustainable and long-lasting material. Both buildings are constructed with concrete, which makes for long-lasting and adaptable buildings. This is due to the concrete's frame natural ability to be inherently quieter, stronger, safer, more energy-efficient, and less expensive to maintain.

Building Features

What makes this building a Passive House Design?

Highly insulated, extremely efficient, with ventilation by Systemair


R-25 concrete panel with two concrete layers and 6 inches of insulation in between


R-48 concrete with exterior rigid insulation


Triple Pane Windows

Solar Power

Generates 192,974 kWh/yr

Heating & Cooling

Daikin VRF Heat Pump


Two Topvex ERVs per floor

The Buildings (cont.)

Whereas traditional buildings built with wood are cheaper, these types of structures do not last as long. Wood structures face a multitude of issues, such as poor insulation, a high susception to mold, and their lack of adaptability during construction.

Meeting Passive House Energy Requirements

When optimizing the project to comply with primary energy and ventilation requirements set by Passive House guidelines, the Arnold Development Group needed ERV units with better motor efficiency than 1.1 w/cfm. In the end, the group chose to go with Systemair Topvex FR and TR units.

Ventilation by Systemair

To meet Passive House primary energy and ventilation requirements, each conditioned floor was outfitted with two Topvex units, for a total of twelve units. These units, the Topvex FR and the Topvex TR, became a major contributor to the energy-efficient design of these buildings. Selected for their Electronically Commutated (EC) motor technology and compact design, the Topvex ERVs continue to provide ventilation to residents, along with high levels of energy recovery (75%).

How EC motor technology works

EC motors ensure outstanding energy efficiency even at low speeds, helping to keep operating costs low. These motors not only require less energy, but also use three-phase power to vary the airflow if variable airflow is needed. As a result, the need for variable frequency drives (VFDs) is eliminated.

Because there are no mechanical brushes in EC motors, energy friction losses are eliminated. This allows EC motors to run cooler and more efficiently than traditional brush motors. In addition, there is no need for regular brush maintenance or chance of sparking.

No Noise

Motor noise is non-existent across the entire speed range. The EC motor`s built-in electronics makes the motor a versatile method of speed control. When demand for ventilation is low, such as at night, very low operating speeds can be selected. The resonance levels, typical for a VFD controller, or “phase noise” does not exist. 

The Cherry on Top

In conclusion, the world's largest Passive House building was built with an extremely tight envelope thanks to the concrete construction and large amounts of insulation within the walls. To help this structure breathe, Systemair's Topvex units were incorporated to help residents at Second + Delaware experience more of the outdoors, inside.

Additionally, Systemair's Topvex units allowed the specifying team to comply with Passive House primary energy and ventilation requirements thanks to having a motor efficiency double of the originally specified units.

Systemair's Topvex line of ERVs continue to outshine the competition, and it shows in the world's largest Passive House building.

Topvex FSU, The slim, compact design of the Topvex TR Series offers superior performance in energy transfer, operation and sound.
Topvex FSU
The slim, compact design of the Topvex TR Series offers superior performance in energy transfer, operation and sound.
Topvex FCU, Wide range of compact false ceiling units (FCU) with complete control system.
Topvex FCU
Wide range of compact false ceiling units (FCU) with complete control system.