• By Frank Swol, EAM Associates

Emerging trends in high performance multifamily construction


The summer of 2018 saw difficulties for developers of multifamily properties across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast due to sustained periods of high temperatures and humidity. These conditions, when combined with the requirements of current energy codes, and above code programs, resulted in moisture and other IAQ issues at many new construction projects. As a result of those complications developers are now working with their design consultants to incorporate new strategies and technologies, helping mitigate their risk moving forward. These are four of the most important trends we see emerging from working through this process with our clients. 1. Effective heating & cooling design Apartments constructed to current IECC/ASHRAE codes and programs like Energy Star and LEED have extremely low HVAC loads due to the requirements for high performance insulation, air-sealing, and fenestration. Projects utilizing traditional AC split systems are experiencing indoor moisture problems due to the single-stage nature of this equipment, and the lack of available low-capacity options.


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