Now that the 2018 blizzard has passed the Paul Castrucci Architect visited the site to check on general heating of the building and long awaited installation of the custom sinks. The sinks were reused and were original to the warehouse. The clients love the minimal and modern design of the space and they continue to highlight rustic and original industrial touches though out the space.
The warmboard and subflooring have been install. The cement flooring through the Warehouse for Artist Studio as been polished. The final installation of the wooden flooring is the mezzanine. During this week's site visit Paul Castrucci Architect reviewed the client's new change orders and also mechanical systems prior to blizzard of 2018.
The client has been away for the winter arriving next week. The crews and Paul A. Castrucci Architect have been working to deliver a great surprise to the client. Top highlights include finishing and sealing the wood and concrete flooring. Most of the construction debris and equipment removed from the space.
November 16, 2017
by Linda G. Miller
Passive Private House
A recently-completed two-family row house at 158 Clifton in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn achieves a near Net Zero energy capability. Designed by Paul A. Castrucci Architect, the 4,000-square-foot, wood-framed structure was gut-renovated to the Passive House New York EnerPHit standard to create a three-story residence, plus an additional apartment in the basement. The project uses recycled materials throughout. The front façade, which is a reinterpretation of the historic vernacular, is clad in blackened ship-lap siding. The process of burning the exterior of the wood, known as Shou Sugi Ban, protects it from the elements, making a wood façade that will be virtually maintenance-free for decades. By applying the process to recycled Douglas fir that otherwise would be unsuitable for exterior use, the design makes the best use of the material and prevents it from being discarded. On the rear façade, wooden slats recycled from the Coney Island boardwalk create a modern rain screen. The roof insulation is recycled polyiso, and reclaimed wood will also be used throughout the interior. Mechanical systems are designed to minimize energy use. High-efficiency mini-split units heat and cool the apartments and are much smaller than in typical apartments due to the reduced heating and cooling loads. Hot water is supplied with heat pump hot water heaters, and LED lighting is used throughout. A 7.5kW solar photovoltaic array is installed on the roof. The project was featured in the International Passive House Days, an annual event that offers builders, engineers, architects, and green building enthusiasts tours of Passive House projects with their designers.
On Friday Nov. 10, 2017 New York Passive house and Paul A. Castrucci Architect participated in International Passive House Days. From 10 – 12 November 2017, the International Passive House Open Days, put on by iPHA and its international Affiliates, took place for the 14th year in a row. By visiting a Passive House home, office, or even construction site, you can experience the benefits of Passive House first hand!
Sawkill Lumber and Paul A. Castrucci Architect opened the recently completed townhouse in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn. The open house tours are great places for builders, engineers, architects and green building enthusiasts to learn about the project, and network with many experts in the field. The tour started on the first floor (garden level apt was not open to the public) in the living room area and then migrated to the kitchen and dinning area. Paul Castrucci was on hand with David White of Right Environment . A few topics covered were thermal break issues, passive house detailing for timber frame retrofits, working with reclaimed wood, and custom double pane windows. Over 50 people were in attendance.
Tour of First Floor
Passive House Family Zone
Paul A. Castrucci Architect is committed to community and families. The firm worked with it's host partner SawKill Lumber to create a Passive House Family Zone where children are welcome to play puzzle games and read children's books on sustainability. The firm wanted to create an environment that would be welcoming for working families interested in learning about Passive House Design. The open house was from 4-6pm a prime time for family time.
Second and Third Floor Tour
Paul Castrucci and David White invited participants to tour the second and third floors. The third floor is an educational space dedicated to AIA, passive house and sustainability events. The room was organized to show a slide show of passive house projects from the firm's portfolio, SawKill Lumber samples with information, and reception area for networking.
Posted onNovember 4th, 2017 by ALAN SOLOMON Link to original post
Sawkill Passive House passed the critical passive house blower door test on Friday, conducted by David White of Right Environments, working with Castrucci Architect and Blueline Construction. The house passed within just 1 CFM (Cubic Foot per Minute) of the test standards cut-off – a cliffhanger by building energy standards. Two days earlier, the reading hovered three points higher and out of reach. At that time, all the scouring for micro-leaks in the envelope of the house seemed exhausted; window gaskets were tightened, ventilation hoods tuned, electrical penetrations plugged; each step circling closer, but still short. It was unclear what to do.
But Mother Nature stepped in. Readings can vary slightly from successive tests at the same site. Within that natural range, it is also possible that varied weather conditions account for the difference. As they say, “You can’t step in the same river twice”. On Friday, with lower winds and higher temperatures, the indoor and outdoor environments were unseasonably equal, and that raised a prospect for a new and passing measure. David thought it was worth a try.
David White lives down the block from Prospect Park, and about a fifteen minute bike ride to 158 Clifton. His retro-fitted eight foot bicycle could haul the morning produce of a restaurant, but it’s more regularly strapped down with equipment from “Minneapolis Air Blower”. The bike and its cargo are easily managed by the 6’2” cyclist.
The air blower apparatus is a simple device – supported by a mountain of research. It pressurizes the entire house, but outside of a fan humming, you’d never know the blower door test was even happening. Within minutes, a computer registers dots along an axis; and then it stops for a moment, and the fan is flipped around, with air removed; and de-pressurizing, resulting in an average reading from multiple points of the building envelope. If there are ghosts in the Victorian era row house, as an older resident on the block claimed early on, they would have certainly caught wind of the air blower test.
The computer graphic – a grid with round and square dots – often tells the story. But it was too close to call on Friday. David clicked through to the precise numerical data and paused, searching the numbers and then said “we passed.” It was just one-quarter-of-one-percent within range, and that was enough.
If it wasn’t. the alternative – which could have produced a passing number for the house months ago – was to “pressurise the neighbours”. This involved setting up similar systems that would flank the row house with pressurised volumes, and act like a headwind against microscopic air loss. Pressurizing just one adjacent house would blow the door off the standards firm threshold, lopping off 100 cfm’s, and it would be completely within the bounds of test procedure. But it was a last resort, and the neighbours of course were already a help, simply living with a party wall in a row house.
The Passive House Certification process prompted a systematic check for air and energy leakage, and a fine tuning process of actions, and it added up to real performance gains. But it was the attention to detail in the construction phase that made the difference. Going back to the bones of the 1880’s building, the old growth softwood joists; each was retained and sistered, and then subject to a thoughtful sealing sequence, with ‘no turning back’. Any energy leakage would be locked in, maybe for generations. All along the way, similar issues were encountered in a structure that was “….in as bad shape as any that I’ve encountered.” said Jim Hartin of Blueline.
Castrucci, Right Environments and Blueline have transformed an old building into one that is, 130 years later, in as good shape as any they’ve encountered. The PHI energy numbers alone may back that up.158 Clifton may also be a first wooden row house to reach certification in New York, and is part of the growing movement to retro-fit across the city.
As David was breaking down the blower door, he noticed one small part of the unit unclamped. “Hmm, that could have been another cfm or two.”
Instagram process and updates: Flooring done for main living space for Warehouse for Artist Studio Projec /
Open House as a part of New York Passive House. Join us!
A blower door is a machine used to measure the airtightness of buildings. It can also be used to measure airflow between building zones, to test ductwork airtightness and to help physically locate air leakage sites in the building envelope.
Demonstration was part of Open House New York Weekend Open House.
During the open house the public got a chance to ask the team questions about the row house and the passive house process. Afterwards the audience got a chance to see a demonstration of a blow door test machine.
About The Clifton Residence
The 158 Clifton Residence is a two family row house in Brooklyn, New York. The structure is being gut-renovated to the Passive House New York EnerPHit standard and supplemented with a Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Array to achieve near Net Zero energy capability.
The building is a wood frame structure, which is rare in New York City. Some of the typical Passive House details used in other projects needed to be modified to account for different thermal and moisture conditions of the structure.As a retrofit, special consideration was required to air seal the building. Paul Castrucci, Architect developed air sealing details specifically for this project and followed up with contractors’ training and inspections to ensure proper installation.
For two days each October, Open House New York Weekend unlocks the doors to New York’s most important buildings, offering an extraordinary opportunity to experience the city and meet the people who design, build, and preserve New York. From colonial to contemporary, residential to industrial, hundreds of sites across the five boroughs are open to visit, with tours, talks, performances and other special events taking place over the course of the weekend. Through the unparalleled access that it enables, OHNY Weekend deepens our understanding of the importance of architecture and urban design to fostering a more vibrant civic life and helps catalyze a citywide conversation about how to build a better New York.
Wendy Brawer is one of this year's TED fellows and co-developer for award winning R951 Residence. She invited an international group to tour top GreenMap sites. Wendy Brawer is the creator of the Green Map, a tool that uses distinctive iconography to denote green-living, natural, social, and cultural resources. Locally led in 65 countries, GreenMap.org will soon relaunch with a new, open approach to inspire greater action on climate health and environmental justice among residents and travelers alike.
The presentation focused on basic passive house principles, net zero projects and ABC No Rio as one of the first Passive House art spaces.
Flooring and roller shades where also delivered and reviewed/tested during the architect's site visit to Yonkers