Brooklyn is quickly becoming a hotbed of passive design, and the borough is set to have another Passive House feather in its cap soon. The R-951 Residence is an ambitious three-story project that is currently under construction in Prospect Heights. When complete, the building is expected to be the first net-zero, solar-powered, passive house condo in the area. Built and designed by Paul Castrucci Architect and Ray Sage of Race Age, Inc., the three-family residence will feature a net-metered, rooftop solar system to provide enough energy for all three households as well as a backyard, deck and rooftop space for residents to enjoy the outdoors and grow their own food. We're definitely putting ourselves on the waiting list!
Located at 951 Pacific Street, the R-951 residence is named for its resilience and high R-value along with its address. The relatively narrow rowhouse structure contains three homes, each with about 1,500 sq. ft. of space. The bottom residence is a two-bedroom unit with access to the backyard while the middle unit is a three-bedroom with a small deck in the front and a larger in the back. Finally, the top unit is another three-bedroom apartment with access to two larger rooftop decks. Each home features high ceilings with access to lots of natural light and ventilation for healthy indoor air quality.
Paul Castrucci Architect designed the homes to meet Passive House standards with tight, thermal insulation, solar passive design and energy-efficient systems. Built with ICFs and triple-glazed high performance windows, the building’s envelope minimizes energy losses. A recent blower door test resulted in an air tightness rating of 0.04 ACH, which surpasses the Passive House standard of 0.06 ACH. Each unit is equipped with mini split heating and cooling systems along with Heat Recovery Ventilation, and heat pump water heaters to minimize energy use.
The roof features a 12.2 kW photovoltaic system, which provides each unit with about 4 kW of power – the amount of energy used by an average NYC condo. The grid-tied system will allow the meter to roll back when not used by the homes, and new, innovative transformerless inverters allow the homes to generate and utilize the solar electricity even during a power outage, which is brilliant.
The project is still under construction and is expected to be completed soon. According to an article on Building Green, the cost of the project is only about 5% higher than what a similar, non-green construction would cost, and will be able to quickly recuperate those additional funds due to the reduction in energy use.
Images ©Paul Castrucci Architect