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Beach Green North – The Largest Affordable Passive House Project

Market: Multifamily, Residential
Type: Affordable Housing
Location: New York, NY
Developer/Owner: The Bluestone Organization
Architect: Curtis + Ginsberg Architects
Project Services: Energy Code Commissioning, Passive House Verification
Building Size: 94,000 SF; 101 units
Certification: Passive House, Enterprise Green Communities, ENERGY STAR MF High Rise
Energy Savings: Projected: 90% cooling and heating energy, 60-70% whole energy demand

Beach Green North, located in Far Rockaway, Queens, features a 94,000 sf building, including 101 residential units along with amenity spaces for it’s tenants. Developers had the ambitious goal of building to Passive House standards, which not only saves energy and reduces carbon emissions, but also results in cost savings for both the owner and the tenants by lowering utility bills and creating a more durable, sustainable, and comfortable space to live.

Steven Winter Associates (SWA) was selected as the Passive House (PH) verifier for the project, aimed at meeting the notoriously stringent PHIUS Standard. Working in collaboration with The Bluestone Organization and Curtis + Ginsberg Architects, the team achieved in bringing the project goals to fruition.

Construction is complete and in April of 2018, Beach Green North was officially certified to PHIUS+ 2015 standards!

 

The majority of this structure has been constructed with insulated concrete forms. This system has several benefits including reduced thermal bridging and speed of construction, and is quickly becoming a favorite of PH developers for low to mid-rise construction.

While this system has a myriad of benefits, it does pose some unique challenges when compared to traditional stick framing. Particular attention to detail at the punched openings—windows and doors—is critical to meet the demanding Passive House air tightness requirements. Working in conjunction with the developer, general contractor, and window supplier, SWA was able to assist the team in assessing the best methods for air sealing these details. Mock-ups combined with air leakage testing resulted in a winning solution that could be replicated throughout the building.