Oculus - Fall 2015 - (Page 29)

feature An Active Market for Passive More and more NYC architects are embracing the benefits of the Passive House standard for multifamily dwellings BY JONAT HA N LERNE R K nickerbocker Commons, a 24-unit affordable seniors' apartment building in Bushwick, Brooklyn, designed by Chris Benedict, RA, was the largest Passive House (PH) project in New York City when it was completed last year. Another PH structure now going forward, designed by Jack Esterson, AIA, of think! architecture and design, will be bigger. Called Hanac Corona Senior Residence, it will include 68 affordable apartments and a preschool. But Beach Green North (Curtis + Ginsberg Architects), under construction in Rockaway, is a still larger PH project, with 101 units. And Handel Architects' 350-apartment PH tower planned for the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island will dwarf even that [see pg. 33]. This is not a contest, of course. But size matters in a dense city. So does reining in energy consumption, which New York State and City codes and conservation goals require. A growing cohort of designers and developers see PH as the way to achieve - and even surpass - those targets. Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan, "One City: Built to Last," for example, aims for a 35% carbon emissions reductions citywide by 2025, stating, "Overall, the city must cut energy use across all building sectors on average by at least 60% from 2005 levels." According to the advocacy group New York Passive House, "Designing to the Passive House standard reduces a building's energy demand for heating and cooling by 90%." ┬ęTeresa Arana Better for energy and air quality Chris Benedict, R.A.: Detail of Knickerbocker Commons senior housing in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Home Game: Winning with Housing Originating two decades ago in Germany and first applied to single-family residences, PH is a building standard that radically reduces energy consumption while simultaneously improving indoor air quality. Compared to conventional construction, it requires a highly-insulated building envelope, usually less glazing, and rigorous air sealing, all to eliminate thermal transfer, and ventilation systems that capture energy while introducing and filtering fresh air. In the U.S., PH has also migrated from single-family to multifamily. Apartment buildings have advantages, with smaller exterior wall-to-living-area ratios. Row houses have only front and back exposures. Those conditions already lessen thermal leakage and make the standard that much easier to achieve. With its abundant row-house fabric - and flush real estate market - "Brooklyn has the most projects by far in the country," says Ken Levenson, AIA, president of New York Passive House. When Levenson discovered the standard in 2008, he Fall 2015 Oculus 29

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Fall 2015

First Words Letter From the President
Letter From the Editor
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
Opener: Affordability: Many Paths to a Solution
Housing for the 99%
Tower Power
An Active Market for Passive
Ahead of the Class
It Takes a Village
Support System, Modular Style
From Learning to Living
The DIY Approach to Housing
In Print
118-Year Watch
Last Words
Index to Advertisers

Oculus - Fall 2015

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