Betances V – Passive House for Supportive Senior Housing

Market: Residential
Type: Senior Housing
Location: Bronx, NY
Developer/Owner: Breaking Ground
Architect: COOKFOX Architects
Building Size: 119,561 sq. ft.; 8 stories; 152 units
Project Services: Passive House consulting, sustainability consulting, energy modeling, and commissioning services
Certifications: Passive House (PHI); 2015 Enterprise Green Communities
Incentive Programs/Funding: NYSERDA New Construction Program

Project Background

Breaking Ground is New York’s largest provider of street outreach and supportive housing. Betances will be its first Passive House residence, which will house and support homeless and low income seniors.

The 152-unit residence will dedicate 25% of units to New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) seniors, 45 units to homeless seniors, and remaining units to seniors with incomes of less than 50% of the area median income. The project includes active design principles, outdoor garden spaces, accessible accommodations, and a community facility, as well as social services support to refer tenants to medical care.

Project Services 

Steven Winter Associates, Inc. (SWA) worked with the project team from early design to ensure it would be built to Passive House and Enterprise Green Communities standards. SWA also provided incentive programs support, awarding it funding from NYSERDA’s New Construction Program.



SWA is providing energy code commissioning services for the HVAC, domestic hot water, and lighting control systems. Through design reviews and functional testing, SWA is verifying that energy-related systems perform efficiently, reliably, and maintain occupant comfort. To further ensure that the owner is receiving the high performance building they defined in the design phase, SWA will be conducting a system overview training for building staff and will be completing a post occupancy walkthrough.

Primary Energy Conservation Features

• Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) heating and cooling system
• Highly efficient, centralized energy recovery ventilation system
• Domestic hot water box re-circulation design
• High efficacy LED fixtures and lighting controls

Read more about SWA’s Residential New Construction Services