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 is currently the largest affordable housing Passive House project in New York City. The 94,000 sf building will house 101 residential units along with amenity spaces for the residents. The developer, Bluestone Organization, believes that a Passive House building can be constructed at no additional cost. They recognize building to Passive House standards not only saves energy and reduces carbon emissions, it also results in cost savings for both the owner and the residents by lowering overall utility bills and creating more long-lasting, sustainable, and comfortable spaces.

SWA was fortunate enough to have been selected as the Passive House verifier for this job. Working in collaboration with the developer and the architect, Curtis + Ginsberg Architects, the team is striving to bring the project goals to fruition.

The majority of this structure is being 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 Passive House 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. Attention to detail at the punched openings—windows and doors—is critical to meet the stringent 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. Completion of this project is set for the Spring of 2017.