Scenes from International Passive House Conference Weekend by Paul Castrucci

International Passive House Conference

Friday June 16 launched the International Passive House Weekend in New York City. Paul Castrucci, principle and Grayson Jordan, R.A. attended.  This year's conference and expo, "Towards Market Transformation" was held at the Metropolitan Pavilion and featured over 30 manufacturers and service providers. Presentation were given by New York and International architects focused on transforming the market and leading the way towards a cleaner and healthier built environment.  The conference also provided a vehicle for building upon relationships with the firm's community group partners and fellow architects. 

New York Passive House featured the firm's project R-591 on the cover of the convention trifold. 

New York Passive House featured the firm's project R-591 on the cover of the convention trifold. 

Top Facebook Live Moments

The International Passive House Association conference talk on mixed use in mixed climates

Habitat for Humanity doing passive house at The International Passive House Association

Cold climate Passive house for production facility at The International Passive House Association

Posted by Paul A. Castrucci, Architect on Friday, June 16, 2017

Final thoughts before cocktails at new york Passive house conference

Summer Passive House Days

 Open House at 158 Clifton Pl

On Saturday June 17, the firm participated in a city wide Summer Passive House Days.  Summer Passive House Days are a way for architects, homeowners, clients and developers to get a first hand experience of the many advantages Passive Houses offer! Open house tours are great places for builders, engineers, architects and green building enthusiasts to learn about projects, and network with many experts in the field. The firm created a multimedia experience using QR codes that showed the participant video documentation of the process, blog post to more detailed information on the woods, systems and products. The QR codes were strategically place to offer a multimedia experience though out the space.

EnerPhit Rehab of existing 3 story plus Basement plus Cellar two family building. Passive House wood frame rowhouse renovation with extensive use of reclaimed wood throughout, including Sho Shugi Ban (burnt Douglas Fir) front facade and recycled Ipe from the Coney Island Boardwalk on the rear façade.  This renovation reduced the energy demand of the building to the extent that the planned rooftop solar installation brings the Owner’s unit into Net Zero capability.

Red Hook Artist Studio Brooklyn, NY by Paul Castrucci

Courtyard and Entrance Area

20170531_0878_18 COMMERCE ST_BROOKLYN.jpg
 

Communial Kitchen for Outdoor Dinning and Entertaining


Main Studio Space

 
 
 

Basement and Ceramic Studio in Main Studio Space

 


Back Studio with Skylighing Details

 

Additional Spaces Above Communal Kitchen

Art Opening/Work on Display : “WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY” at Bullet Space, NY, NY by Paul Castrucci

“WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY”

| | Mar 21, 2017 | Article Link

May 18-June 18
Opening May 18, 2017 6-9pm

Paul A. Castrucci, Martha Rosler, Tom McGlynn, John Fekner, Anton van Dalen, Margaret Weber, Scott Lawrence, Simone Mantellassi, Thomas Lanighn -Schmidt, Janice Sloane, Alexandra Rojas Leonid Sokov, Walter Gurbo, Robert Parker, John Farris, Sue Coe, Winston Smith, Robert Upham, Colleen O’Reilly, David Wojnarowicz, Melvin Way, Walter Sipser, Richard Hambleton, Raymond Pettibon & others

Paul Castrucci work on display

Posted by Paul A. Castrucci, Architect on Thursday, May 18, 2017
 

“WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY” at Bullet Space

Gallery images and opening reception


Vertical Tour of "Wrong Side Of Wrong" by curator and founder of Bullet Space Andrew Castrucci.

Posted by Paul A. Castrucci, Architect on Thursday, May 18, 2017

Brooklyn Open House in June by Paul Castrucci


International Summer Open Passive House 2017

Saturday, June 17
2pm

Location : 158 Clifton Place, Brooklyn
with our partner SawKill Lumber


 

EnerPhit Rehab of existing 3 story plus Basement plus Cellar two family building. Passive House wood frame rowhouse renovation with extensive use of reclaimed wood throughout, including Sho Shugi Ban (burnt Douglas Fir) front facade and recycled Ipe from the Coney Island Boardwalk on the rear façade.  This renovation reduced the energy demand of the building to the extent that the planned rooftop solar installation brings the Owner’s unit into Net Zero capability.

 

Project Team:

Paul A. Castrucci, Architect

Alan Solomon, Sawkill Lumber Company

Right Environments, MEP and PH consultant

Blue line Construction

 

 

Contact Person:

rosalinda@castrucciarchitect.com or 212.254.7060

Published on Jun 14, 2016

Video about 158 Clifton Place, Brooklyn NY by Sandra Beltrao


 

Details and Progress Documentation

Project in Process: Earth Room Develops at Warehouse for Artist Studio in Yonkers, NY by Paul Castrucci

Instagram update - Studio Space in Progress + Utility Sink + Natural Lighting at Warehouse for Artist Studio Yonkers, NY by Paul Castrucci

Project in Process: In search of the Classic Red Brick for 312-322 Canal St by Paul Castrucci

The material choices for 312-322 Canal Street veers toward the common place elegance rather than the extravagant. The firm choose a standard red-brick, historically used, as the face material of the building. The materiality of this classic red-brick brings utility and practicality to the 100 feet-long elevation along Canal Street. The firm is still reviewing brick samples with the developer and searching for just the right classic red-brick . . .

Link to project

Press Bowery Boogie : Stairway to Nowhere: The Final Days of the Original ABC No Rio on Rivington Street by Paul Castrucci

Posted on: April 13th, 2017 at 5:00 am by Elie

Demolition of a half-block of Rivington Street is full speed ahead, and with it, the destruction of the both the old ABC No Rio headquarters and the former Streit’s Matzo factory. For the last several weeks, the buildings comprising 148-156 Rivington have been decimated in dramatic fashion. A combination of Bobcats, backhoes, and handtools.

It’s a sad spring for this corner, as more than one hundred years of history is now a pile of rubble and dust.

As previously reported, ABC No Rio is currently hosting programs in exile while its new “passive house” at 156 Rivington Street is under construction. The state-of-the-art facility – designed by local architect Paul Castrucci – will eventually boast larger exhibition and performance spaces (doubling the size), in addition to a green roof and second-floor terrace. The solar-equipped building will also have an elevator and carry the organization’s zine library, computer lab, print shop, dark room, and kitchen.

ABC No Rio purchased 156 Rivington Street from the city In 2006 for one dollar. Since then, the organization has raised more than $8 million in both private donations and city grants. Plans for the 9,000 square-foot, Leed-certified structure are eight years in the making.

What remains is a stairway to nowhere.

Press in Curbed - Pearl Paint's Canal Street conversion finally clears Landmarks Commission by Paul Castrucci

The conversion will create eight apartments with retail at the base

BY TANAY WARERKAR  APR 4, 2017, 2:42PM EDT

Canal.JPG

The third attempt proved to be lucky for developer Trans World Properties. After two failed attempts, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission finally approved the residential conversion of Pearl Paint’s former headquarters at 308-310 Canal Street.

When the application appeared before the Commission last week, the LPC was largely happy with the changes the architecture firm on the project, Paul Castrucci Architect, made from their previous visit to the Commission last November.

They did however have problems with the rooftop bulkheads, which they said didn’t really reduce the scale of the rooftop addition even though the architects had dropped a floor from their previous proposal.

When they first came before the Commission in November 2016, plans called for two-story additions on both buildings at 308 and 310 Canal Street. The ground floor would have retail, and there would be eight apartments located above that, spread out over the two buildings.

The Commission found the proposal to be “overwhelming” at the time, so the architect came back with a revised proposal last week. That proposal addressed most of the Commission’s concerns including reducing the rooftop addition to a single story, distinguishing the two additions on each building, and reducing the height of the addition on the Canal Street side. The bulkheads however still stuck out.

Now the architects have decided to remove the bulkheads from the roof entirely and instead place them at the back of the building on a newly constructed ridge. That in turn has also reduced the appearance of a taller addition on the Canal Street side, and the Commission was happy with the changes right off the bat.

“It’s really great that they’ve been creative with their approach, and using the sloped roof has really worked to their advantage,” Meenakshi Srinivasan, the chair of the LPC, said at the meeting.

Within a matter of minutes, the Commission had unanimously approved the changes. Now Pearl Paint’s conversion can finally move forward.

Link to original article

Press in LifeHacker - Paul A. Castrucci award winning Net Zero Project by Paul Castrucci

R-951’s apartments are large and airy, filled with crisp, bright light from giant windows. The white walls and stainless-steel appliances make the apartment feel minimalist yet cozy. Each unit is 1,500 square feet and comes with its own outdoor space, rare in much of Brooklyn.

R-951 is unique in another way. The building boasts net-zero status, which means each apartment only uses as much energy as it produces. One way it does so is through Passive House design principles, which are used to attain a high level of energy-efficiency. The methodology reduces R-951’s energy usage by about 75%. In fact, it’s the first building in New York that is both Passive House–certified and net-zero capable.

Paul Castrucci, the principal architect of the firm behind R-951, says that this energy reduction comes from three key areas: super-insulatingreducing air leaks, and recycling and recovering energy where possible. For example, the entire perimeter of the building is super-insulated, which minimizes energy loss. The doors and windows are triple-glazed and the walls and roof, as well as underneath the concrete slab, each have six inches of insulation. Buildings often lose energy through air leaks. To avoid that, the firm air-sealed the entire building and taped around doors and windows to prevent air loss.

R-951 also utilizes an energy-recovery ventilation system to recycle energy and further reduce heat loss. Since R-951 has no air leaks, there has to be a way to bring fresh air into the building — but in the winter, that air may be quite cold. A typical building “exhausts all the air from the kitchens and bathrooms,” Castrucci says, which means that a lot of valuable warm air is leaving the building. The energy-recovery ventilation system acts as a heat exchanger, and thus reduces energy loads by using this warm air in a controlled way, by way of tubes that never cross-contaminate. “There’s incoming air in a series of tubes that’s right next to the hot air that’s going out, he says. “This [system] recovers the heat going out and transfers it to the air coming in.”

In addition to addressing practical energy concerns, the apartments were designed in a thoughtful way so they are liveable and comfortable. “I think the lightness and the light colors reflect the fresh air,” Castrucci says. This balance between aesthetics and practicalities is further reflected in the apartments’ interiors. Take the wood flooring: It’s warm, rich, and modern; and it’s also sourced in a sustainable manner. Though finding this wood required a few extra phone calls and a small upcharge (less than 5%), Castrucci notes that finding responsibly grown woods is getting “easier and easier.”

20170330_Lifehacker7.JPG

The roof has a rainwater collection system, which irrigates all the plants in the building, as well as 52 solar panels, which produce renewable energy. If there’s a power outage, residents can plug directly into these panels to heat their apartment or run their fridge.

Solar panels are a surprisingly effective way for homeowners who want to save energy but can’t spend the time or money to build a totally new house. “Solar panels make a big difference,” Castrucci says. “You have a better investment investing in [them] then you do in the stock market.”

Another accessible way all homeowners can learn from R-951 is through its appliances. Castrucci says homeowners looking to increase their home’s efficiency can look to simple things like everyday lighting. “Everyone should be using LED bulbs,” he says. EnergyStar appliances are another easy way to increase efficiency. If you are able to replace your windows, you should use “the best window that you can afford with the highest R-value” (a measure of thermal resistance and level of insulation).

R-951’s apartments all come with induction stoves. With a gas stove, only 20 to 30% of the heat is transferred to a pot. Indoor gas stoves also contribute a high amount of indoor air pollutants. “When you have a building that’s so airtight, all those indoor air pollutants [build up] and it’s not good,” he says. The electric induction stove from GE solves the problem, and 90% of the energy goes right into the pot. “You’re saving energy, and it’s a more efficient, cleaner way of cooking.”

While building a Passive House may not be achievable for everyone, smaller improvements like adding solar panels and upgrading your appliances can go a long way. Screw in a long-lasting and energy-saving GE LED light bulb, for example, and you’ll be well on your way to savings.

Nandita Raghuram is a Senior Writer at Studio@Gizmodo. She tweetshere.

This post is a sponsored collaboration between GE Lighting and Studio@Gizmodo.

Photographs by Timothy Bell. 

Link to original blog post

Community Access Art Party by Paul Castrucci

Paul Castrucci supports Community Access programs for sustainable housing for mentally ill and the homeless. Each year Community Access has an Art Party Benefit to support The Art Collective – one of NYC’s most unique art programs. As an artist and avid collector Paul Castrucci attended their signature fundraiser and networking event. Meeting with the program directors, artists, and junior board members made for a memorable event for a phenomenal cause.

Paul A. Castrucci Architect firm attended the event and interviewed staff and artists on their experiences and the importance of the community impact The Art Collective has. For many of the artists participating in the collective is a daily activity. The "artist business" hours are Monday/Tuesday 10-6pm, Wednesday 10-4pm and Friday 10-5pm.  Non members are welcome to visit, perform, and conduct workshops but are strongly encouraged to contact Amy Sharp, Art Collective Director. "The artists are often doing field trips and attending educational events," said Amy Sharp. Artist Shaka Williams was one of the most out going artists and spoke of why fierce animals and dinosaurs inspire him.  

John Smith was generous with Paul A. Castrucci and gave him a signed postcard of "Subway Ride". He is part of the Peer-to-Peer Workshop program and actively participate in the collaborative ethos of Art Collective.

Artist Susan Zelin stated on her Art Collective profile, "like John Smith said and others who watch me do my art, I’ve gotten better and better. I use to keep everything a secret and not be able to trust. Now I’m able to come out of my shell, little by little, as I grow in the Art Collective world because we are all family."  At the benefit event, one could see her confidence and she when so far as to talk about her father and how he was a photographer to the stars during the golden age of Hollywood.

Artist Lillian Harrison encouraged us to place a bid or view the works online because 60% of the proceeds go toward the artist and the rest is invested into communal art supplies. She stated, "There are no limits. You start or begin somewhere and you have no idea where it’s going to take you. "

One of the most professional and confident artists in the collective, Pablo D. Martinez, has an artistic business called Capricorn Media Productions. He has found that, "Art is a communication tool. A tool in which needs practice to master and a persistence to understand it and master it to it's most potential.

Founded in 1974, Community Access is one of the oldest and largest non-profits in NYC dedicated to helping individuals and families overcome mental illness and homelessness. The agency’s programs enable over 10,000 people every year to connect to affordable housing, job training, crisis supports, educational opportunities, and much more! Its celebrated Art Collective, established in 1988, is an artist studio and workshop that uses the power of art, creativity and self-reflection, to help individuals overcome psychiatric disabilities.

#NotOurWall : Paul Castrucci Architect firm is against the Southern Border Wall by Paul Castrucci

Wednesday morning the firm quickly and unanimously voted to take the firm pledge proposed by The Architecture Lobby.  The firm's philosophy is contrary to the spirit of the border wall as the firm consists of design professionals committed to sustainability, equity, and community.

The Architecture Lobby is calling for a national day of action on March 10th, 2017 at 4pm EST, 3pm CST, 2pm MST, 1pm PST in opposition to the building of the southwestern border wall proposed by the Trump administration and the Department of Homeland Security. While there are innumerable reasons to stand against the immigration policies of the current  administration and this project specifically, this call is motivated by the belief that the fields of architecture, and engineering are fundamentally rooted in a goal to improve our societies by producing structures that render them more just, more equitable, and more beautiful. The southwestern border wall stands in clear and direct opposition to this goal.

By participating in this day of action, architects and engineers will make clear not only to the current and future administrations, but also to themselves and each other, that their agency will not be exploited in the service of xenophobia, discrimination and racism. Link to full press release

FIRM PLEDGE

If your firm is against the Southern Border Wall, publicly pledge that they will not work on this project or pursue any contracts from the DHS.

Download and print the Firm Pledge and declare your firm’s commitment to  your civic and social principles!

See below to view those who have taken the firm pledge and have publicly affirmed their ethical convictions.

Lecture Series : Andy Vann for Paul Castrucci Architect at Storefront for Art and Architecture by Paul Castrucci

Manifesto Series: At Extremes

With Jordan Carver, Mitchell Joachim, Janette Kim, Lola Sheppard, Andy Vann, and Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss

Job Captain, Andy Vann (along with colleague Jordan Carver,) presented a provocative and compelling manifesto linking contemporary architectural and political acts with the social space of dissonance and violence.  Vann questioned architects’ own complicity in the unequal shaping of the modern metropolis and invited those in attendance to reflect on relevant and effective ways of confronting and fundamentally altering our speculative and exploitative urban economy.

Excerpt from press release - The condition of extremes suggests a tipping point: a moment in which a system shifts from one state to another (often unpredictable) state. 

Manifesto Series: At Extremes discusses how architecture, infrastructure, and technology negotiate limits and operate in conditions of imbalance. Do the risk/reward models prevalent on the trading floors of global financial markets and in speculative real estate projects hold up in disciplines related to design?

How can the entangled relationship between risk and extreme conditions be leveraged in a new and productive model; one that emphasizes speculation as a way to test scenarios, outcomes, and tools? What is the role of design in such contexts? To document? To redress? To mitigate? To capitalize on new opportunities? Does the progressive destabilization of political, social, and environmental conditions render design more relevant, or less so?  Link to more information

About Andy Vann

Andy Vann is an organizer, educator, parent and architect based in Brooklyn. He has taught at City Tech, City College and Columbia GSAPP.

ABC NO RIO In Progress – Demolition Phase by Paul Castrucci

ABC No Rio is now in the demolition phase. ABC No Rio's events, programs and the essence of community that it brings about continue "in exile"

The programming work ABC No Rio engages and the design work Paul Castrucci Architect are doing helps to strengthen progressive communities in response to the recent elections.  

 

Brooklyn Community Groups Co-Sponsor Town Hall Meeting by Paul Castrucci

Two important non-profit community groups, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration and Bridge Street Development Corporation, co-sponsored  the Mayor's first town hall meeting in Bed-Stuy. Brooklyn's Community Board 3 also co-sponsored and various representatives of city agencies also attended and give opening remarks or where on hand to address audience questions.  A representative of Paul A. Castrucci Architect attended to support the community groups an to ask critical questions on the state of affordable and sustainable housing in Brooklyn. 

Mayor Bill De Blasio with Council member Robert Cornegy Jr as moderator

Mayor Bill De Blasio with Council member Robert Cornegy Jr as moderator

20170310_townhall meeting_10.jpg
 

Press Bowery Boogie : Demolition of ABC No Rio’s Former HQ Commences on Rivington Street by Paul Castrucci

Posted on: March 8th, 2017 at 5:00 am by Elie

The proverbial wrecking ball is busy around the Lower East Side these days. It’s tough to keep up. Over on Rivington Street, half the block is currently amidst demolition. First, the Streit’s Matzo Factory. Now, on the occasion of its centennial, the tenement that formerly housed ABC No Rio is receiving the same treatment.

The city finally issued demolition permits last week, some eight months after first approving the paperwork. And despite the lack of netting and ironwork attached to the century-old building, workers have already begun dismantling 156 Rivington Street. In fact, it appears that the roof is already gone. The above photo shows the wrecking crew on the top floor with daylight visible.

One resident across the street is keeping tabs, and noted the brief reprieve during yesterday’s rains. “Thankfully it’s rainy, which keeps the dust down,” the tipster told us. “On dry days it has been flying around like crazy. And the rest of the time, the whole block smells like mold.”

As previously reported, ABC No Rio is currently hosting programs in exile while its new “passive house” at 156 Rivington Street is under construction. The state-of-the-art facility – designed by local architect Paul Castrucci – will eventually boast larger exhibition and performance spaces (doubling the size), in addition to a green roof and second-floor terrace. The solar-equipped building will also have an elevator and carry the organization’s zine library, computer lab, print shop, dark room, and kitchen.

ABC No Rio purchased 156 Rivington Street from the city In 2006 for one dollar. Since then, the arts hub has raised $1.6 million in private donations, plus an additional $6.45 million in grants through City Council members, the former Manhattan Borough president Scott M. Stringer and the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs. Plans for the 9,000 square-foot, Leed-certified structure are nearly eight years in the making.

However, the punk institution hit a snag at the end of last year. Director Steven Englander revealed that construction bids for the eco-friendly “passive house” replacement came in much higher than anticipated and that ABC No Rio needs financial assistance. In the meantime, there’s an ongoing drive to help raise the necessary funds.

As you may recall, in 2014 we moved our project over to the City’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Given some of our project’s unique aspects, city officials felt that EDC would be a better fit as they allow for greater flexibility in project management and administration.

We put the project out to bid and, unfortunately, the bids came back a lot higher than our available funding. While we’re disappointed, we’re not giving up hope and continue to explore our options for raising more money and getting our dream building up and running. Remember, ABC No Rio originated from a creative action by artists who never dreamed that breaking into a building to protest the city’s real estate policies would lead to a community arts center where many several thousands of artists, activists and others have been able to connect and learn. We’ve survived years of eviction attempts and gentrification. When the city first told us that if we raised the money to develop the site, they’d give us our home, many thought that this was an impossible task. But we did it – and in 2006, the City signed over the deed.

So, far from giving up hope, we’ll keep exploring what we need to make our new home happen. We are working with EDC staff and the construction management firm they hired to determine how to best move forward with our available funds given the current challenging market and environment for construction costs.

Link to original post