Impact of an Energy Efficiency Regulation in Northern Canada by Paul Castrucci

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.

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Building Community : Paul Castrucci Architect at RiseBoro Benefit by Paul Castrucci

Sept. 25th

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.

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


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!

ABC NO RIO In Progress – Demolition Phase by Paul Castrucci

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

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


Inside the Dinsmore-Chestnut RFP Pre-submission Conference : One of the most Influential Development Projects In Brooklyn Post-2017 by Paul Castrucci

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is inviting developers to submit proposals for a new construction project in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn. 

The site is owned by the City of New York and is located within Community District 5 on Block 4142, Part of Lot 32, which is bounded by Atlantic Avenue, Chestnut Street, and Dinsmore Place. HPD wants the project to have affordable housing that meets the economic needs of the community and the city as a whole.  During the pre-submission conference HPD representatives insisted that development teams that incorporate Community Visioning Workshop Report, sustainable design and achieve Enterprise Green Communities Certification would be prioritized.  

The Community Visioning Workshop Report summary of findings:

  • Affordable housing may include multi-family, senior, and/or supportive housing. 
  • The Development must also include quality commercial and/or community facility uses.
  • Incorporate a green roof and support urban agriculture.
  • Integrate local arts and artists into the building design and public spaces.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is aiming to generate 200 affordable apartment on this East New York half-acre site and in 2016 the site under a controversial rezoning according to Crain's New York Business reporter Joe Anuta.  The city-owned lot has been vacant for decades depressing the local economy and well being of the community.  Paul A. Castrucci Architect firm's philosophy supports the Community Visioning Workshop Report and the city's development goals as outlined in the request for proposal : Equity, Economy and Environment. 

ABC NO RIO Moving forward with programs in "exile" : next phase in construction by Paul Castrucci

ABC No Rio is embarking on a new phase. The summer of 2016 became a pivoting moment as programming at the Rivington Street space shifted to alternative locations and the staff prepares for demolition and new construction.

ABC No Rio's events, programs and the essence of community that it brings about continue "in exile".  In this transitional period, creates an opportunity for a renewed focus towards collaborative work that brings them back to their roots. ABC No Rio was founded as a project of the 1970s artist group called Collaborative Projects.  The spirit of collaboration will enable people to continue sharing resources and ideas in this atmosphere of change and mutual support.

The construction phase highlights the importance of the city's artist-run community spaces. The programming work ABC No Rio engages and the design work Paul Castrucci Architect are doing helps to strengthen progressive communities in response to the recent elections.  ABC No Rio has been responding to the times we live in since the space was founded 36 years ago.  The lost felt of not being able to operate in their space, to express themselves as they once did and nourish their creative environment has created momentum for ABC No Rio to take the spirit of creating community to other sister institutions.

Before leaving the building, ABC No Rio celebrated their 36 anniversary in their "old home". In June, they presented two final exhibitions: InFinite Futures and The Past Will be Present. Infinite Futures involved eighteen artists with a historical connection to No Rio. Each artist was invited to create installations imaging the site in five, fifty or five hundred years in the future. The Past Will Be Present included four photographers who documented the spaces and textures of No Rio's building and the people working within it.

The last month in the space had a series of sold out weekly hardcore/punk matinees. Punks of different generations danced, sang and cried together as they bid farewell to the tenement where they came of age and found their political and creative voices.  The last COMA improv session in their "old home" was an extended evening of short sets both inside and out, involving almost fifty musicians playing solo, in duets and in ensemble. ABC No Rio's programs "will be - and are - continuing in exile". For example, the hardcore/punk matinees continue at "Do It Yourself" venues in other boroughs. The zine library moved to another local and historical community space, Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center. The visual art program will be hosted in various galleries around the city. This movement creates opportunity for ABC No Rio to work closely with other artist groups/collectives. Their collaboration with Flux Factory, an artist-run residency space in Queens, cultivates a spirit co-operation over competition and becomes an exploration of mutual aid.

Image: Satellite view of ABC No Rio and Paul A. Castrucci Architect headquarters. One minute walk and neighborhood. 

Image: Satellite view of ABC No Rio and Paul A. Castrucci Architect headquarters. One minute walk and neighborhood. 

Paul A. Castrucci Architect and ABC No Rio anticipate demolition plans to be approved soon and to begin in early 2017. The journey so far has not been without challenging moments for both the firm and ABC No Rio.  The city gave ABC No Rio the opportunity to raise the money to develop the site and with a supportive community response the city signed over the deed in 2006.  In 2014, ABC No Rio moved the project over to the City's Economic Development Corporation. The city realized that greater flexibility in project management and administration was better suited to fit the unique aspects of this construction. In 2016, they received an additional $750,000 from the Mayor and the Department of Cultural Affairs. The bids came back a lot higher than available funding. Most recently, asbestos was found on the roof. 

Current circumstances test the artist run space and remind its community of ABC No Rio's origins. The ABC No Rio artist community was culled from a creative action by local artists who never dreamed that breaking into the building to protest the city's real estate policies would lead to this moment.  During the course of transforming the space and creating community ABC No Rio has overcome years of eviction attempts and the gentrification moment. 

Support and donations remain important in the next phase of construction.

ABC No Rio is a 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions to ABC No Rio are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Consult your tax advisor with any tax-related queries.

                        Thank you for your support

                       Thank you for your support

Press in The Lo-Down : Carmen Pabon Garden Opens on Avenue C, Ending 17-Year-Long Ordeal by Paul Castrucci

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: