Think about building a net-zero energy home with all its challenge except in remote regions with temperatures dropping to - 60 F for extended periods of time? As part of a graduate research, at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, Asok proposed a protocol that uses delivery of prefabricated homes to build affordable net-zero energy homes for Canada’s northern regions. As part of the research, 1200 homes built in the North since the 1950s were evaluated to study its impacts of energy policies on home. The findings were presented at the 7th International Building Physics Conference in September 2018 in Syracuse, USA.Read More
Paul Castrucci Architect team is proud to support RiseBoro. This year the firm was pleased to attend their benefit gala at the Brooklyn Museum. The evening opened with My Voice Theater Group. RiseBoro works with both seniors and youth to create innovative community programming.
The evening was also a special moment to recognize Maria Viera VP Community Affairs taking over Angela Battaglia's position as she is set retire next year. Veteran leader of RiseBoro, Angela Battaglia, was critical in developing RiseBoro over the past 42 years and cultivating top talent like CEO Scott Short.
The gala was more thank just a fundraiser but also a platform for supporters to engage and support new programs. Supporters were given the opportunity to meet new community leaders and hear their presentation on new programming. At the end of the night supporters got a chance to vote on the future community programs and make a contribution.
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The predominant community development models of prior decades, used when eradicating urban blight was the priority, are outdated.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.
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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.
158 Clifton Residence
Owner: Sawkill Lumber/ Alan Soloman
Architect: Paul A. Castrucci Architect
Builder: Blue Line Construction
Sustainability Consultant: Right Environments
RetrofitNY Prequalifies Paul A. Castrucci, Architect and ZeroEnergy Design as a Solution Provider Team for NYSERDA Initiative /
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
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!
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.
Open House as a part of New York Passive House. Join us!
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.
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.
Top Facebook Live Moments
Cold climate Passive house for production facility at The International Passive House AssociationPosted by Paul A. Castrucci, Architect on Friday, June 16, 2017
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.
“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
“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.
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.
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
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.
See below to view those who have taken the firm pledge and have publicly affirmed their ethical convictions.
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.
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.
Paul A. Castrucci Architect was hired to design the community garden. The firm has a history of working with community groups. As well as helping developers create projects that are sustainable and community oriented.
After waiting for 17 years, the Lower East Side got a treasured community garden back yesterday, and a controversial developer gained a little bit of local good will.
Community leaders, including City Council member Rosie Mendez, dedicated Carmen Pabon del Amanecer Garden on Avenue C in a late afternoon ribbon cutting. The occasion marked the end of one of the neighborhood’s longest running battles.
Back in 1999, developer Donald Capoccia of BFC Partners bulldozed several lots between East 7th and 8th streets to create Eastville Gardens. The mixed income project (including 20% affordable housing) spelled the demise of Esperanza Garden. In an editorial at the time, the New York Times criticized the Giuliani administration’s decision to hand the city-owned property over to a private developer. “No city ownership right can quite absolve the mayor and his administration of insensitivity in their handling of community gardens,” wrote the Times. “A patch of green or a plot of flowers can often do more for a neighborhood than new apartments and retail establishments.” Capoccia’s reputation took a beating locally during weeks of protest. Ill will towards him has persisted all of these years.
But a lot has changed in almost two decades. In her remarks yesterday, Council member Mendez went out of her way to praise Capoccia and BFC Partners, saying, “It really was working with him that we got a board together, got the board incorporated. They’re providing a trust fund for this place.” [Mendez also thanked her predecessor, Margarita Lopez, who negotiated the original agreement to restore the garden.]
Before the ribbon cutting, Capoccia made brief remarks, telling community activists gathered in the newly opened space, “It’s really the beginning of my rehabilitation” in the neighborhood. Capoccia said he’s now an, “embracer of community gardens.”
Another developer, Ron Moelis of L+M Development Partners, was also present at yesterday’s event. His firm recently purchased Eastville Gardens. L+M and BFC Partners make up two out of three developers of Essex Crossing, the large mixed-use project being built on the former Seward Park urban renewal site. So their profiles in the neighborhood continue to grow.
Pabon was on hand for the ceremony. Thirty years ago, she established the original garden, creating a vibrant community space and a refuge for the struggling Lower East Side community, including many homeless people. There’s a plaque outside the garden that refers to Pabon as “The Mother of Loisaida.” Mendez called her, “a true fighter, a true Lower East Side hero.” Link to original article
The Lower East Side Biography Project told Pabon’s story a few years ago:
Ribbon Cutting & Re-Opening Ceremony
Wednesday - October 26, 2016 | 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Paul A. Castrucci, Architect join community leaders, politicians and developers BFC Partners and SMJ Development in the ribbon cutting and re-opening celebration of Carmen Pabon Del Amanecer Garden. The firm is committed to sustainability, equity, and community. Principle architect, Paul A. Castrucci, was a key speaker at the event and extended the firm's gratitude for being involved with realizing this project.
The firm was founded 30 years ago by architect and community advocate Paul A. Castrucci to establish an architecture practice around craftsmanship, functionality and the preservation of the environment.
Press in The Daily News : SUN CITY: New York homeowners are signing on to go solar at historically high rates /
SUN CITY: New York homeowners are signing on to go solar at historically high rates
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, August 6, 2015, 1:00 PM by Katherine Clarke
The Big Apple is showing the rest of the country how to do solar power right.
Solar installations in the city have tripled in just two years — thanks to a spate of government rebates and credits that cut down on up-front costs.
It’s not just about saving the world. Now, most panel purchasers will see a return on their initial investments within six years, experts said.
“If you have the ability to write a big check in the beginning, it makes sense,” said Stacey Max, a real estate broker with Bond New York who’s installing solar panels on her Flushing roof. “My husband and I want to stay in our home forever so it’s probably smart to make it as efficient as possible.”
Nearly 2,200 city residents were permitted to install solar panels in 2014, compared to just 662 in 2013. And so far in 2015, 1,180 New Yorkers have gotten solar approvals.
"People are starting to realize that solar’s not just something for hippies and rich people and that it actually does make a ton of sense,” said Gaelen McKee, president of Brooklyn SolarWorks, which installs solar panels on local homes. “It’s really exciting.”
Solar’s cheaper than ever before but you still have to have a good chunk of money in the bank to get started and navigate the high upfront costs. Link to original article