NYC non-profit Breaking Ground celebrated the opening of their latest residence in the Bronx this week. One of the organization's first residences funded by the New York State’s Medicaid Redesign Team, Boston Road will provide 154 units of housing for formerly homeless New Yorkers, high users of Medicaid, seniors, and low-income adults. On top of providing decent living options for those in need, the building, designed by Alexander Gorlin Architects is incredibly sustainable, proving once again that urban design can be eco-friendly.
The Boston Road complex not only provides housing for those in need, but its design is aimed at breaking the cycle of homelessness by giving tenants a healthy environment in every sense. The building provides on-site medical services, a landscaped courtyard, a fitness room, a computer lab, a laundry area, bicycle storage, and 24-hour security.
Equally as impressive is Boston Road’s multiple green features, which will hopefully earn the building an Enterprise Green Certification. ENERGY STAR appliances, water-saving features and high-efficiency lighting throughout the building cut back significantly on electricity and water use. Additionally, passive solar heating and cooling strategies further reduce energy usage and cost. Deep window jambs were also installed in order to lower the cooling load while letting in optimal natural light, and all units were installed with trickle vents that allow for fresh air circulation.
Boston Road also used local materials that were processed and manufactured within 500 miles of the project site. Recycled building materials were also incorporated into the design. For example, the flooring is composed of up to 50% post-consumer recycled content. As for the final cosmetic touches, all of the units were finished with low- or no-VOC paints, coatings and primers.
Lastly, the building’s green roof is much more than extra green space; the extensive planting strategy was chosen to improve the building’s immediate air quality, as well as thermal performance and insulation. A water runoff system was also installed to limit the amount of water rushing into the sewer system during a storm.
Breaking Ground is the NYC’s largest provider of supportive housing and, since 1990, has helped more than 12,000 people either escape or avoid homelessness in the city.
Photos via Michael Moran