Summer News : Awards - Publication - Press by Paul Castrucci

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Building Brooklyn  Awards


EIGHTEENTH ANNUAL BUILDING BROOKLYN AWARDS  

Honoring 11 construction and Renovation Projects that Enrich Brooklyn's Neighborhoods and Economy

 

Wednesday | August 1, 2018
6pm Awards Program
7pm Cocktail Reception


Location

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Meadow Rue Ballroom
60 Furman Street Brooklyn, NY 11201 (Map it!)

Link to tickets and registration
 

 

Historical Restoration Winner
 

158 Clifton Residence Winning Team

Owner: Sawkill Lumber/ Alan Soloman

Architect: Paul A. Castrucci Architect

Project Architect: Grayson Jordan

Builder: Blue Line Construction

Sustainability Consultant: Right Environments

 


Publication

 

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GET A FREE COPY 

We are proud to participate in the latest Passive House publication with Low Carbon Productions


From Small to EXTRA LARGE  : Passive House Rising to New Heights

 

Architect and projects profiles featured on pages 75-83.

To request a copy contact : info@nypassivehouse.org

 

 


In the News


ABC No Rio featured as "The Modern Passive House"
- ON AIR : LG HVAC Story


As Andreas Benzing notes in the introduction to a new guide, From Small to Extra-Large : Passive House Rising to New Heights, "New York City is fast becoming becoming a Passive House epicenter of the country" 
- Treehugger by Lloyd Alter


 "Three projects by Paul A. Castrucci Architect are described in the publication, including ABC No Rio’s new headquarters in the Lower East Side, which is one of the first passive commercial buildings in the city . . . The thermal breaks are essential for reducing energy consumed in regulating the interior temperatures throughout the seasons, according to the passive building philosophy."
- Architect Newspaper by Alex Wong


 

Paul A. Castrucci Architect Team member to present at IBPC by Paul Castrucci

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Certified Passive House Designer and team member of Paul A. Castrucci Architect, Asok Thirunavukarasu, will be presenting a paper at this year's International Building Physics Conference (IBPC).  IBPC2018 brings together researchers, scientists, architects, engineers and businesses involved in building physics, to present original research and findings, demonstrate and exhibit innovative green building technologies, and discuss future challenges and opportunities. Link to more information.

The International Building Physics Conference (IBPC) takes place every 3 years and it will be the first time this conference has been held in the United States. The conference will advance the collective understanding of the nature and behavior of the cyber-physical systems in these different scales, how they interact, and what can be done to optimize their design and operation for healthy, intelligent and resilient buildings and urban environments.


Impact of an Energy Efficiency Regulation in Northern Canada

Contributors : Asok Thirunavukarasu, Hua Ge1 and Andreas Athienitis
Institution : Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

ABSTRACT
Extreme cold climates and Canada’s sparsely populated Northern regions have limited human and infrastructural capacity making it difficult to build energy-efficient homes. Despite such differences, homes are built based on codes and standards developed for Canada’s South. In 2008, a by-law was passed in Yellowknife, Canada requiring a minimum EnerGuide Housing (EGH) rating of 80 for all new single-family and two-family residential buildings. The EnerGuide’s Energy Rating Service (ERS) program is an energy assessment program for residential housing formerly known as the EnerGuide Rating for Houses (EGH). Homes are rated between 0 to 100; lower numbers represent homes that are less efficient and 100 represents an airtight and well-insulated house that is net-zero energy. 1002 homes from the City of Yellowknife evaluated since 1950s were studied from the ERS database, Performance metrics studied include energy intensity, EGH rating, ACH rating, window types, the thermal resistance of the building envelope, primary heating and hot water heating equipment’s efficiencies, total electricity used, and total energy used. The analysis identified the current state of housing in Yellowknife, past and present housing trends, and determined the effect of the city of Yellowknife’s new building by-law had on housing performance. The preliminary finding shows a pathway to significantly improve the energy efficiency of the housing stock in Yellowknife. This regulation shows other municipalities in Canada that legislations pushing energy efficient buildings can be very effective

Link to down load full presentation

Publication and Press : Paul A. Castrucci, Architect in "From Small To Extra Large : Passive House rising to New heights" by Paul Castrucci

Low Carbon Productions is one of the leading publishers of the latest information on Passive House Building. They cover the latest developments and trends in building energy efficiency. 

Paul A. Castrucci, Architect is a supporter of Low Carbon Production and was featured extensively in this year's publication "From Small to Extra Large: Passive House Rising to New Heights" Link to E-book Download  

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New York Passive House 2018

Mayor Bill de Blasio has called climate change “the challenge of our generation,” and New York City has responded to this challenge by committing to achieving greenhouse gas reductions of 80% by 2050. “The leadership shown by Governor Cuomo and New York State to make bold emissions reductions commitments is vital to solving the climate crisis,” says former Vice President Al Gore.

It is exciting to see the application of Passive House evolving from small single-family homes to extra-large skyscrapers. New York Passive House is committed to advancing policy that recognizes the critical contributions of low-energy, high-performance Passive House buildings to support our state’s clean-energy transformation.


Press

As Andreas Benzing notes in the introduction to a new guide, From Small to Extra-Large : Passive House Rising to New Heights, "New York City is fast becoming becoming a Passive House epicenter of the country" 
- Treehugger by Lloyd Alter

 "Three projects by Paul A. Castrucci Architect are described in the publication, including ABC No Rio’s new headquarters in the Lower East Side, which is one of the first passive commercial buildings in the city . . . The thermal breaks are essential for reducing energy consumed in regulating the interior temperatures throughout the seasons, according to the passive building philosophy."
- Architect Newspaper by Alex Wong


 

Press : CityViews: Let’s Stop the Zero-Sum Debate Pitting Open Space vs. Affordable Housing by Paul Castrucci

By Karen Haycox and Scott Short | June 21, 2018

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The vision for Haven Green.

As New York City grapples with the challenges of fitting a growing population into its finite borders, residents and government alike must reexamine how we use our public land. The predominant community development models of prior decades, used when eradicating urban blight was the priority, are outdated. Now that we have transformed a city full of vacant lots into a city full of people, we must ensure that all public land is put to its highest and best use. This prevailing need to do more with less has in some cases, drawn new battle lines where alliances once existed.

Nonprofit community development organizations like RiseBoro Community Partnership and Habitat for Humanity New York City, as stewards of public resources, are often the ones tasked with meeting competing public priorities within constrained environments. We have found that the growing scarcity of available public land has pitted potential allies, open space advocates and affordable housing advocates, against each other in competition for a dwindling piece of the pie.

This resource rivalry has most recently, and perhaps most tragically, resurfaced in relation to projects serving communities which are facing increasing market value, where inequitable market forces threaten to push out longtime residents. As an ongoing impact of historic inequity continuing to play out across the city, communities now feel pressured to choose between affordable housing resources or open space access. We believe that the choice between affordable housing and open space is a false dichotomy, that they are in fact complementary components of thriving communities, and that we can and must have both at the same time.

The complex goals of communities must be addressed holistically, with a commitment to developing assets that enrich and empower resident experience. This can only be achieved when projects that utilize public assets are developed to explicitly maximize public benefit. Affordable housing and open public space are both essential to the health and vitality of communities, but must not be considered a zero sum game.

CityViews is City Limits’ showcase for opinions from around the city and the world.

RiseBoro and Habitat NYC’s partnership with Pennrose Properties to redevelop a City-owned parcel, which is currently utilized as a community-led garden space, into a new project known as Haven Green accomplishes just that – preserving access to cherished open space while providing affordable homes for one of our most vulnerable populations.

Seniors are the fastest growing population in the United States, and the need for affordable senior housing has never been greater. A study by LiveOn estimates 200,000 individuals remain on the waiting list for senior affordable housing throughout New York City, averaging seven years. Affordable housing is especially difficult to find for the historically marginalized LGBTQ community. At the same time, we understand the desire of many in Little Italy to preserve every piece of publicly accessible open space in an increasingly gentrified community. That is why our proposal for Haven Green is a marriage of these ideals: more than 120 units of low-income, LGBTQ-friendly, senior housing located within a public, locally-stewarded garden reimagined through a community-led participatory design process.

Engaging with complex narratives and creating collaborative opportunity where potential conflict exists is the essence of the challenging and rewarding work of community development. We believe that when government, communities, and mission-driven developers work together we can create projects that empower individuals, satisfy multiple priorities, and deliver wide-ranging social benefit. Threading this needle successfully is critical to the urgent work of making our cities livable and sustainable for generations to come.

Karen Haycox is the CEO of Habitat for Humanity New York City and Scott Short is the CEO of RiseBoro Community Partnership.

Link to original article

Paul A. Castrucci Architect at NYPH18 Conference & Expo and Open House by Paul Castrucci

This year's conference was focused on a combination of innovative approaches and technologies involving passive house process and issues from the perspective "From Small to Extra Large - Beyond the Envelope". The passive house standards have been proven to "reduce building energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%" according to New York Passive House. Every year the conference becomes a nexus for professionals and practitioners working on energy efficiency initiatives and high performance buildings to come together.  This year Paul A. Castrucci, Architect was a supporter and participant delivering two presentations. During the Expo Paul A. Castrucci, Architect meet with project partners and suppliers: Klearwall, NYSERDA, 475 High Performance Building Supply, Bright Power, and Rockwool.

During the New York Passive House Conference & Expo weekend architects were invited to participate in the International Summer House Days. Paul A. Castrucci, Architect and ZeroEnergy Design joined New York Passive House (NYPH) for the Summer International Passive House Days. NYPH tours offers the public and industry experts a first hand interaction with Passive Houses. Paul A. Castrucci, RA and Sissily Harrell guided the open house tour on Friday, June 8 from 4-6pm. The architects also held a discussion and educational event on site for builders, engineers, architects, developers, affordable homeowners and green building enthusiasts to learn more about the project. This open house is notable because it will be the first Passive House in Sunnyside Gardens project.

The Sunnyside Gardens Residence is a 1000 sqft single family row house located in the Sunnyside Gardens Historical District in Queens, New York.  Built in 1925, this compact 3 bedroom row house was design by Clarence Stein and Henry Wright in the Art Deco style. The structure will undergo an extensive renovation that carefully incorporates Passive House EnerPHit standards with the building elements that contribute to the special architectural character of the district, including siting, style, scale, material and detailing. Link to full press release

 

Open House : Sunnyside Gardens Residence at New York Passive House Days by Paul Castrucci

Sunnyside Gardens Residence Open House: 2018 New York Passive House Days


47th St Sunnyside, Queens | Friday - June 8 @ 4-6 PM
Link to RSVP


OPEN HOUSE EVENTS

4:00 Informal tours with Sissily Harrell and New Deal Home Improvement Company Inc

5:00 Questions and Answers with Project Architectural Designer Sissily Harrell and New Deal Home Improvement Company Inc

5:30 Meet the architect Paul A. Castrucci

6:00 open house shut down
---> after party walk to . . .
Quaint
46-10 Skillman Ave
https://goo.gl/maps/M8hew1PTbGD2


New York City – May 25, 2018

Paul A. Castrucci, Architect and ZeroEnergy Design joins New York Passive House (NYPH) for the Summer International Passive House Days. NYPH tours offer the public and industry experts a first hand interaction with Passive Houses. Paul A. Castrucci, RA and Sissily Harrell will guide the open house tour on Friday, June 8 from 4-6pm. The architects will also hold a discussion and educational event on site for builders, engineers, architects, developers, affordable homeowners and green building enthusiasts to learn more about the project. This open house is notable because it will be the first Passive House in Sunnyside Gardens project.

The Sunnyside Gardens Residence is a 1000 sqft single family row house located in the Sunnyside Gardens Historical District in Queens, New York.  Built in 1925, this compact 3 bedroom row house was design by Clarence Stein and Henry Wright in the Art Deco style. The structure will undergo an extensive renovation that carefully incorporates Passive House EnerPHit standards with the building elements that contribute to the special architectural character of the district, including siting, style, scale, material and detailing.

Sunnyside Gardens was built from 1924 to 1928 as a philanthropic effort to ‘encourage greater equity in housing production, location, and design’ and stands as one of America’s best examples of low-density, low-rise residential development. Inspired by the English Garden City movement, the district was based on a concept that combines resource and environmental planning of typical urban and rural conditions to create an alternative for suburban living. A key signature for the Garden City style is the combination of single-, double, and triple- family private homes with rental apartment buildings and their arrangement around common gardens and pedestrian-friendly thoroughfares. Long-time resident Lewis Mumford called Sunnyside Gardens “An exceptional community laid out by the people who were deeply human and who gave the place a permanent expression of that humanness.”

Paul A. Castrucci Architect has worked closely with the clients, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, NYS Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, Parks Department, Queens Community Board #2 and the Hamilton Court Association to create a design that respects the character-defining features of the building and its historic context. Restoration of both primary and secondary facades begins with a particular sensitivity to the original Hudson River Brick and its corbeled detail in the entablatures of each facade. The firm received full approval from the Commission, the first in the district, on the Passive House-certified simulated double hung windows - designed to incorporate historic elements into the energy-efficient triple pane design, including shadow lines, simulated divide lights, and a simulated double-hung function (a better performing window very similar in look to the historic wooden single pane double hung window). Paul A. Castrucci Architect has carefully developed windows; paying close attention to original relationships of wall planes to windows, site lines from the street, color and material, and proper installation of all components by the contractor.

Paul Castrucci, Architect developed air sealing and brick restoration details for this project and will follow up with contractors’ training to ensure proper installation. 
A new R-40 roof assembly integrated with the Sunnyside Gardens Residence’s mechanical system is designed to minimize energy use. High-efficiency mini-split HVAC units heat and cool the home, taking up much less space than the typical apartments’ due to the buildings reduced heating and cooling loads. Interior space is limited in this single-family rowhouse, so ductwork is kept to a minimum size to take up as little space as possible as it passes through the interior. Precise air sealing installation will prevent thermal breaks.  Hot water is supplied with heat pump hot water heaters. Energy-efficient appliances and LED lighting is used throughout. Finally, a 3.5kW Solar Photovoltaic array will be installed on the roof to achieve near Net Zero energy capability. The solar layout is hidden from street view in order to respect its historical context. The home operates entirely on electricity - no natural gas or fossil fuels are used.
 


 
Passive House is an international building standard developed in the 1990s by the Passive House Institute of Darmstadt Germany.  The firm is committed to building to Passive House standards, reducing building energy use through passive measures and components such as insulation, airtightness, heat recovery, solar heat gains, solar shading and incidental internal heat gains. Passive House buildings are comfortable, affordable and create deep reductions in environmental/carbon footprint. 

New York Passive House is an independent not-for-profit organization that facilitates the exchange of information and experiences, among local, national and international practitioners of the Passive House building standard. 

ZeroEnergy Design is an architecture and mechanical Passive House design firm specializing in high performance homes and buildings. The firm’s commitment to innovative and ecologically sensible design is reflected in multidisciplinary knowledge base, which spans architecture, mechanical design and financial analysis. The firm  supported the project as passive house consultant.

Paul A. Castrucci, Architect is an early adapter of Passive House construction having completed R-951, which is New York City’s first Net Zero Capable, Passive House certified residence. The firm has over thirty years of experience in sustainable practices with a focus on affordable residential buildings, arts facilities and community centers. The firm’s body of work reflects the firm’s commitment to sustainability in design and construction. The firm’s projects typically incorporate systems like passive and active solar heating, photovoltaic electricity generation and schemes for natural day lighting and ventilation. 

Press contact: Rosalinda@castrucciarchitect.com    T. 212.254.7060 x 612

Partnership Organization and Special Thanks to New York Passive House, ZeroEnergy Design and Owners of Sunnyside Residence

RetrofitNY Prequalifies Paul A. Castrucci, Architect and ZeroEnergy Design as a Solution Provider Team for NYSERDA Initiative by Paul Castrucci

 

For Immediate Release

New York City – May 9, 2018

Paul A. Castrucci, Architect and ZeroEnergy Design are pleased to announce Solution Provider Team partnership and prequalification status for NYSERDA RetrofitNY initiative. RetrofitNY is working to create new solutions to renovate multifamily buildings while achieving or approaching net-zero energy use and creating standardized and scalable processes that will improve residents’ comfort and buildings’ energy performance. NYSERDA’s efforts support Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s ambitious climate goals while improving the quality of life for affordable housing residents.

Through this Request for Proposals (RFP), NYSERDA is qualifying: 1) Solution Provider Teams to design high-performance retrofit solutions that approach or achieve net-zero energy performance for affordable multifamily buildings, and 2) Buildings that meet program requirements for being retrofitted with these solutions. As a prequalified team the firm will have an opportunity to pair up and submit a Joint Project Application to NYSERDA with owners of qualified buildings.  Contracts will be awarded to qualified Team/Building pairs on a first come, first served basis until six contracts are awarded, or until the period for submitting Joint Project Applications expires on October 31, 2018, whichever occurs first.  

RetrofitNY, a NYSERDA initiative, is revolutionizing the way buildings are renovated in New York State. Our goal is to spearhead the creation of standardized, scalable solutions and processes that will improve the aesthetic and comfort of residential buildings while dramatically improving their energy performance. RetrofitNY is working aggressively to bring a large number of affordable housing units to or near net-zero energy use by 2025, and provide new business opportunities in the State of New York. 

ZeroEnergy Design (ZED) was founded with a commitment to deliver high performance for all clients as a best practice. The firm’s Consulting Practice focuses on energy consulting and mechanical design projects ranging from full renovations to new construction for architects, housing authorities, non-profit organizations, institutions, developers, and homeowners.  

Paul A. Castrucci, Architect is an early adapter of Passive House construction having completed R-951, which is New York City’s first Net Zero Capable, Passive House certified residence. The firm has over thirty years of experience in sustainable practices with a focus on affordable residential buildings, arts facilities and community centers. The firm’s body of work reflects the firm’s commitment to sustainability in design and construction. The firm’s projects typically incorporate systems like passive and active solar heating, photovoltaic electricity generation and schemes for natural day lighting and ventilation. 
 

Press contact: Rosalinda@castrucciarchitect.com    T. 212.254.7060 x 612

Partnership Organizations
 

Instagram Inspiration : More Terra Cotta samples arrive for 312-322 Canal by Paul Castrucci

Paul A. Castrucci Architect team for project 312-322 Canal  continue the search for the best Terracotta samples for the facade. When samples arrived the firm usually reviews  them over coffee  and cookies this time the architectural samples that arrived are too light. Next, design meeting the firm will review all samples and continue to navigate the design process around the rich world of red hues and terracotta finishes. 

Creative process : Latest terracotta samples reviewed by Paul Castrucci

This morning we find ourselves delighted to receive mail . . . no . . . no love letters . . . no . . . no bills from contractors . . . yes to some much anticipated terracotta samples arrive for review. Short fun video on where the creative process goes (spoiler alert : you might find color inspiration in your fridge)

Our Partners in the Press : The Community Builders CDE Awarded $50M for Neighborhood Investments by Paul Castrucci

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On February 13, 2018 the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund awarded The Community Builders CDE LLC a $50 million New Markets Tax Credit allocation. This is their fourth NMTC award, which now total $140 million. They have deployed previous awards to support 16 projects of various types across eight states and Washington, D.C.

This allocation advances The Community Builders’ mission to build and sustain strong communities for people of all incomes. They plan to target this allocation to support neighborhood business and amenity projects that create jobs and economic activity while addressing needs of communities where TCB families live.  We enjoy working with The Community Builders and share many core values with them. 

You can read more about the Treasury announcement here.
 

Building Community : Congrats to our friends and neighbor Earth Matter by Paul Castrucci

This week our friends and neighbor Earth Matter just celebrated 10 million pounds of food scraps. Paul Castrucci Architect is a proud supporter of this mile stone as well as a daily composting via Earth Matter. Join us and start composting today!

Press CurbedNY : Contested Tribeca apartment building finally clears Landmarks by Paul Castrucci

The plan was sent back to the drawing board several times before it was finally approved on Tuesday

By Amy Plitt and Tanay Warerkar

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UPDATE 1/23/18: The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission resoundingly approved a proposal to replace a set of low-rise commercial buildings on Canal Street with a seven-story residential building, on Tuesday.

The Commission liked the revised approval presented by the architecture firm Paul Castrucci Architect, which reduced the height of the building from nine stories to seven stories, and reduced the facade material from red brick to terra cotta, to be more in line with the buildings in the neighborhood (more details on the latest iteration of this project below).

The Commission praised the firm for heeding all of its advise from a previous hearing in July last year, but still had a few pointers. The Commissioners agreed that the architect should either do away with the current glazing on the building’s facade or try to pick a more muted version of the color they’re presently going with. They also asked the architect to reduce the ceiling height on the building’s penthouse to make it less visible from street level.

The architect will now work with the Commission’s staff to rectify those concerns as this project moves forward.

Seven months after the Landmarks Preservation Commission decided to take no action on the proposed new buildings at 312-322 Canal Street, a revised proposal for the project is due to be presented before the LPC at tomorrow’s meeting. It’ll be the third time that plans for this parcel of land will appear before the LPC.

Let’s back it up a bit: Paul Castrucci Architect, the firm behind the (now stalled) revamp of ABC No Rio, has been trying to get plans for a new Canal Street building approved since 2011, when changes to the storefronts those addresses encompass were made without LPC approval. (The buildings are part of the Tribeca East Historic District.) The 2011 proposal was nixed, and it took the firm until last year to come back with revised plans—which were summarily rejected by the LPC for being “completely inappropriate.”

What did the commission have an issue with? Just about everything: “There is a real problem with the monolithic aspect of this application, and it takes away from the granular nature of Canal Street,” LPC chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said during June’s meeting, where she noted that the site deserved a building that is “new and contemporary.”

It remains to be seen if the revised plans, which will be presented during tomorrow’s LPC meeting, will fit the bill. One of the biggest changes concerns the building’s height; the previous proposal put the roof height at 97 feet high, but the revised one takes it down to a bit over 86 feet (with the street-facing wall going to 76.6 feet). And rather than having a flat, brick facade, the revised plans now include a facade made from terra cotta, not so dissimilar to that of Annabelle Selldorf’s 10 Bond Street.

The building will still be home to more than a dozen apartments (most of them one-bedrooms, with one four-bedroom penthouse), with three ground floor retail spaces. Maybe, as the old adage goes, the third time’s the charm?

Take a look at the full revised plans here. We’ll update with more information on the LPC vote as it becomes available.

Press Tribeca Citizen : Red Terra Cotta Facade Proposed for Canal Street by Paul Castrucci

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In June, the Landmarks Preservation Commission sent developer Trans World Equities and architect Paul A. Castrucci back to the drawing board for another go at 312-322 Canal, where they’d like to replace the existing two-story commercial building with a nine-story residential one. YIMBY got its hands on the new renderings, below: “Castrucci has proposed a brick-red terra cotta facade which will frame inset floor-to-ceiling windows on each floor. The architecture firm describes the project as entering into ‘a critical dialogue with its surrounding context. The façade’s repetition recalls some of the underlying structural rhythms of the historical district’s notable palazzo-style, cast-iron facades, but avoids replicating or reproducing their forms, details or material choices.'”

If the terra cotta comes off anything like it does at 10 Bond by Selldorf Architects, I’m on board. The red does give one pause—although I suppose you could argue that it references Pearl Paint…. The LPC will discuss it tomorrow morning.

UPDATE 1/23: The new design for 312-322 Canal was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, says Curbed, but apparently it’s seven stories, not nine, as reported. And the LPC “still had a few pointers. The Commissioners agreed that the architect should either do away with the current glazing on the building’s facade or try to pick a more muted version of the color they’re presently going with [rendering below]. They also asked the architect to reduce the ceiling height on the building’s penthouse to make it less visible from street level. The architect will now work with the Commission’s staff to rectify those concerns as this project moves forward.”

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Press in YIMBY: Red Terra Cotta Exterior Revealed After 312-322 Canal Street’s Major Design Update, Tribeca by Paul Castrucci

 BY: JORDAN BEECHE 8:00 AM ON JANUARY 22, 2018

BY: JORDAN BEECHE 8:00 AM ON JANUARY 22, 2018

An updated design has been submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for 312-322 Canal Street, in the West Tribeca Historic District. The site is currently occupied by a two-story retail space, owned by the developer, Trans World Equities. An initial design proposal was submitted in 2011 by Paul A. Castrucci Architect, but was denied by the LPC after being deemed too bland for the area.

 Current status of 312-322 Canal Street.

Current status of 312-322 Canal Street.

The updated design submitted again by Castrucci on January 23rd, 2018 is still pending approval. If approved, the lot would give rise to a nine-story residential building, with retail space on the first floor. The structure would rise to 76 feet, 12 feet higher than the existing average for the block.

Construction would yield an estimated 54,250 square feet of space aboveground, plus an additional 7,750 square feet in the basement.

 Retail spaces on the ground floor.

Retail spaces on the ground floor.

The ground floor would offer three retail opportunities, and floors two through six would each feature four one-bedroom apartments. The seventh floor is slated to be a four bedroom penthouse unit with private terrace access. Residents would also have access to bicycle storage in the basement and recreational space on the roof.

 Close up of terra cotta facade.

Close up of terra cotta facade.

Castrucci has proposed a brick-red terra cotta facade which will frame inset floor-to-ceiling windows on each floor. The architecture firm describes the project as entering into “a critical dialogue with its surrounding context. The façade’s repetition recalls some of the underlying structural rhythms of the historical district’s notable palazzo-style, cast-iron facades, but avoids replicating or reproducing their forms, details or material choices.”

The building is also slated to be passive house certified; it will use high efficiency heat pumps to condition individual interior units in addition to energy recovery ventilators which provide units with cooled, filtered fresh air.

Plans will go before the LPC on Tuesday for approval.

Press in AIA News Letter : In the News November by Paul Castrucci

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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.

Link to original news letter

New York Passive House Days : Clifton Residence Open House by Paul Castrucci

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!

 

Open House

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.

Clifton Residence - BLOWER DOOR TEST “PASSED!” by Paul Castrucci

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.”