Oculus - Fall 2015 - (Page 40)

©thread collective ©thread collective feature The DIY Approach to Housing Building faster, cheaper, and with greater satisfaction: the advantages of being an architect-developer B Y L I S A DE L GA DO P atience might be a virtue, but impatience has a power of its own. Too often, architects "sit in their office waiting for somebody to call them to do a development - and they wait a long time," says Peter Gluck, RA, principal and founder of Manhattan-based GLUCK+. Instead, he and a small but ever-rising number of other local architects have been taking a DIY approach with residential projects, developing their own designs. In doing so, they have gained greater control and efficiency in their work process, shed frustrating developerclient constraints, and created noteworthy new living spaces in New York City. One example is TroutHouse, an ultra-sustainable three-unit residential-andoffice space on Troutman Street in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood. It was designed and developed by the three principals of thread collective, an architecture and landscape design firm. Though the principals - Elliott Maltby, Mark Mancuso, RA, and Gita Nandan, RA, LEED AP - had never developed a proj40 Oculus Fall 2015 ect before, they decided to give it a try because they needed a new studio space to showcase their firm's ideas about green design. Mancuso and Maltby needed a new residential space for themselves, too. The project also includes two rental apartments, which helped make the project financially viable. Completed in 2012, the four-story, 6,000-square-foot TroutHouse is an airy, lightfilled space, thanks to expansive windows and a mostly open-plan design. A lush backyard with an abundance of trees, grasses, and other plants gives the building an inviting tree-house feel in the midst of the city. Exposed-concrete floors emit radiant heat, and reclaimed ipe (from the Coney Island boardwalk) used in the façade, interior, and roof deck is a sustainable and wallet-friendly flourish. Atop the building are a green roof and a 5.5-kilowatt solar array, which powers the duplex that contains the office space and Maltby and Mancuso's residence; last year, the solar canopy produced more energy than was consumed. The project's many green features garnered it LEED Gold and Energy Star certification. The principals had picked up general knowledge about development from previous work with developers, and learned more by reading books and asking attorney friends and bankers. They found that assuming the roles of both architect and developer was a huge time-saver because it streamlined the design process. "Being both developer and architect makes the project go so much easier, so much faster," Mancuso remarks. Normally, "we design something and then go to the developer-client, and then the design changes because we have to tailor it to what they want. But since we were our own client, we designed this thing so fast." Avoiding the costs of a separate developer is another plus. "You cut out the middleman - you 'buy wholesale,' in a way," says Sam Bargetz, a partner at Brooklyn-based architecture firm Loadingdock5. "It makes the project much more affordable." Bargetz banded together with a group of friends to collectively develop 152 Freeman Street (dubbed "Haus"), a four-story, seven-unit Passive House in Home Game: Winning with Housing

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