425 Grand Concourse – Passive House on a Grand Scale

Market: Affordable Housing
Type: Affordable high-rise, Mixed-use
Location: Bronx, NY
Developer/Owner: Trinity Financial, MBD Community Housing Corporation
Architect: Dattner Architects
MEP: Dagher Engineering
General Contractor: Monadnock Construction
Building Size: Residential: 264,033 SF; Commercial: 8,659 SF; Retail: 8,771 SF
Project Services: Energy code commissioning, Passive House verification
Certification: Phius+ Core 2018, Enterprise Green

Project Background:

425 Grand Concourse is one of the largest certified Passive House buildings in the world. The mixed-use high-rise has more than 270 residential units, an educational facility, a health clinic, and a cultural space. The project was certified to the Phius+ Core 2018 standard in 2022.

Project Services:

SWA was brought on to the project to ensure that 425 Grand Concourse would become the high-performance building defined in the design phase. SWA provided Passive House verification services as well as energy code commissioning services for the HVAC, domestic hot water, and lighting control systems. Through design reviews and functional testing, SWA verified that the project’s energy-related systems perform efficiently and reliably and maintain occupant comfort.

Energy Conservation Features:

At 26 stories tall, the residential tower posed the unique challenge of controlling energy demand for cooling and heating due to its high density. As part of the solution, variable refrigerant flow (VRF) heat pumps were installed for cooling and heating the building. Heat recovery controls that are integral to the VRF system allow for simultaneous heating and cooling, which is critical during swing seasons when units on one side of the building require heating while the opposite side might require cooling due to its orientation.

The following measures also contribute to minimizing energy demand:

  • A highly efficient lighting system with high-efficacy fixtures and bi-level controls designed with great attention to detail
  • ENERGY STAR® appliances
  • A combination green roof and ENERGY STAR light-colored roof
  • Low-flow and WaterSense plumbing fixtures, which reduce water heating energy demand

425 Grand Concourse is projected to save 90% of energy demand for cooling and heating when compared to typical existing apartment buildings of a similar size. It is also projected to save 60-70% of the whole energy demand. These energy savings will translate into a significant cost savings for tenants.

This project has set a precedent for the design of large, high-performing buildings that meet Passive House standards and are in accordance with greenhouse gas reduction goals set forth in New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act and New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.


Photo Credit: Dattner Architects

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