Garrison Architects are completing designs for Red Hook Green, New York’s first sustainable zero-energy, live/work building. A completion date projected is summer 2011. This unique structure is expected to become one of the most distinctive architectural additions to up-and-coming Red Hook section of Brooklyn.
As defined by the US Department of Energy, “a net zero-energy building (ZEB) is a residential or commercial building with greatly reduced energy needs through efficiency gains such that the balance of energy needs can be supplied with renewable technologies.” Basically the ZEB concept asserts that buildings can meet all their energy needs from low-cost, locally available, nonpolluting, renewable sources such as solar or wind power.
This structure is approximately 4,000 sqf, and responds to a complex program, incorporating a studio/workshop, offices for a digital business, garages and an apartment, as well as outdoor green space. The form is inspired by shipping containers, an integral part of the Red Hook landscape that is largely defined by its active working port. The building is made up of modular units that are stacked and shifted to create a variety of terraces and angles designed to take advantage of the area’s impressive harbor views.
Red Hook Green is the brain-child of New York technology and media entrepreneur, Jay Amato. “I’m thrilled that Red Hook Green will become a very visible symbol of the continuing reinvention of one of New York City’s oldest neighborhoods,” said Mr. Amato. “But I’m even more excited that I could practically illustrate the movement towards zero-energy building to the world’s greatest city. Bringing to bear exciting new building materials, improved wind and solar technologies and more energy-efficient HVAC and home appliances, as well as state-of-the-art sustainability strategies, Red Hook Green will be a powerful answer to the question of what urban centers can do to reduce our dependency on foreign oil via renewable resources and to significantly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.”
Garrison Architects has assembled an innovative group of designers, engineers, and manufacturers to work on this project. “Jay Amato’s Red Hook project draws from several promising trajectories – abstract modernism, modular construction, and zero energy consumption. By combining state-of-the-art approaches to all three in one structure we have moved the potential for affordable, ecologically sound, urban dwellings several steps forward,” said James Garrison, Principal in Charge of Garrison Architects.
Simple and cost effective sustainability strategies are used to conserve and produce energy, conserve resources, and create a healthful environment. This sustainability approach was developed though an extensive research project that included digital energy modeling, detailed life cycle cost analysis of construction components and their related maintenance and replacement costs.
Some of Red Hook Green’s features Include:
- 8kw annual photovoltaic generating capacity, grid connected
- 8kw annual comprehensive household energy budget including heating and air conditioning
- High performance building envelope that eliminates thermal bridging and achieves an average thermal resistance of R50
- Wall and roof systems vented to eliminate moisture build up and use “smart” moisture barriers to allow air movement in warm months.
- Integrated south facing thermal solar wall generates warm air that is fed to the building ventilation system.
- Heating and cooling provided by high efficiency electric heat pumps.
- Whole house heat exchange ventilation system insuring air quality and recovering energy from conditioned air.