The planned construction site for the new passive building.

If all goes as planned, Harlem will soon be home to the greenest residential building in all of Manhattan. Synapse Capital development firm, which finalized their purchase for a 9,900-square-foot lot in Harlem last week, plans to build the first “passive” apartment building in the borough. The 40-unit, energy-efficient building will aim to cut heating costs by 90% through a mix of solar energy and heavy insulation.



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In keeping with typical passive design principles, the building will have an airtight envelope with triple-pane windows and heavily insulated walls to cut down on heating demands. Fresh air would be pumped in through a heat recovery ventilator, a device that pre-filters and heats incoming cool air with outgoing warm air. The goal to slash energy consumption by 90% will put the passive apartment complex well above LEED standards, Synapse partner Tom Bencivengo told Crain’s.

Although a converted brownstone in Park Slope is considered the city’s first passive house, Synapse’s property will mark the first passive multi-family complex within Manhattan. The market-rate apartment building is slated to open in 2016.

Via Crain’s New York

Images via Wikimedia