The seeds in the court yard have been planted and now we let the sun do it's job . . . nourish the seed and give the clients energy with our fantastic solar panels.
Paul A. Castrucci Architect documented the last site visit. The front entrance door area is now fully installed. The album gives you a sense of the magic of using a custom pocket door system with shabby chic corten weathering steel. The design embraces the spirit of this warehouse adaptive reuse project.
Corten steel is one of our favorite products to use. It is a group of steel alloys which were developed to eliminate the need for constant repainting, and form a stable rust-like appearance after several years exposure to weather. The 'weathering' refers to the chemical composition of this steel, allowing it to exhibit increased resistance to atmospheric corrosion compared to other steels. This is because the steel forms a protective layer on its surface under the influence of the weather. The corrosion-retarding effect of the protective layer is produced by the particular distribution and concentration of alloying elements in it. The client asked for industrial, masculine and raw design details and corten steel entrance is a great way to introduce the spirit of this adaptive reuse.
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.
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!
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.
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.”
Press in YIMBY: Red Terra Cotta Exterior Revealed After 312-322 Canal Street’s Major Design Update, Tribeca /
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!