Country’s First Affordable Passive House Apartment Building Opens in Bushwick

424-melrose-street-rendering-042114

The passive-house affordable apartment building at 424 Melrose Street wrapped in February and 22 of the building’s 24 units are already filled, reported The New York Daily News. A joint project of the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council and the United Mennonite Church, which owned the land, it was paid for by private bank loans, a federal tax credit and the New York State’s Housing Trust Fund.

Rents range from $400 to $1,100 for a studio to a three-bedroom. Eight units are for low-income residents and 15 are for handicapped. Interior photos in the Daily News show beautiful long windows and tiny radiators. There are two small boilers on the roof and 16 thermal solar panels. The 28,000-square-foot building cost $8,500,000 to construct and uses about 10 percent of the energy of most buildings of its size, according to the story. The architect is Chris Benedict.

Construction caused evacuation of nearby buildings in 2012, as we reported at the time.

The finished building looks different from the rendering, but we like it. The beige and white color scheme is not particularly inspiring, but we like the rhythm and pattern created by the grouping of the passive-house windows, whose look too often detracts from older buildings. This is one of many affordable projects in Brooklyn with admirable architecture, including a number spearheaded by the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council. Another passive building with 24 units at 803 Knickerbocker Avenue is scheduled to finish this summer.

Click through to the Daily News article to see the finished building. What do you think of the design?

Inside the Country’s First Multi-Family Affordable Passive House Apartments [NY Daily News]
Bushwick Buildings Evacuated After Cracks Appear [Brownstoner]
Rendering by Chris Benedict via Inhabitat

4 Comment

  • I prefer my housing active and positively unaffordable.

  • This is fantastic and proof that well designed, energy efficient housing isn’t something just for the affluent. Congrats to the project’s architect, Chris Benedict. But Brownstoner, if the project is finished, why are you showing that awful rendering instead of a photo?

  • Cudos to Ridgewood Bushwick and architect Chris Benedict for making this project a success. It will be interesting to see how it works out in the long run with people living in the building. I’m disappointed that the architecture is not more inspiring but its certainly not bad compared to most of the new-build apartments going up in the area.

  • If $8.5 MM is accurate and not just a preconstruction budget, getting this done for $286 / SF is truly impressive, even if the finishes are less than spectacular.