Organic City Project : Moving into a Culture of Sustainability
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Architecture & Urbanism

Nassau Ice House in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York
 

Built in the 1880 ' s, the old Nassau Brewery Ice House is being transformed from a vacant commercial space into 6 residential units. The owners and designers Susan Brown and Benton Boyle are making significant steps towards getting the Ice House LEED certification as a green building. As LEED certification requires a commitment to sustainability and environmental awareness in the building process, the Ice House exhibits various components throughout the structure that promote both conservation and efficiency.

The building has a 7 kilowatt roof integrated photovoltaic system, which participates in Con Edison's net-metering program. The other 2 roof areas comprise about 2300 square ft of green roof space. This not only provides insulation in the heating of the building in the winter, but also retains cool air in the summer. The green roof also prevents thousands of gallons of rainwater runoff per year. The building uses a radiant heating system which is highly efficient in heating the floors and walls of the apartments.

The products used for the principle construction projects exhibit various environmental features. The concrete used for the floor and wall installations recycles refuse from coal burning known as fly-ash, to create a non-toxic, stronger and more insulated material than regular concrete. It also cuts down the amount of concrete used, which is good because making concrete is a greenhouse gas intensive project. Nearly all of the wood used in the building is completely reclaimed and many of the lighting and bathroom fixtures are reclaimed as well. All units are outfitted with Energy Star appliances and low-flow water fixtures. The decision to keep the buildings large window spaces will enhance electricity conservation. The low-emissivity windows help keep temperatures cool in the summer by minimizing the amount of heat from the sunlight that passes through.

 

 


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