‘Passive House’ Development Brings 275 Affordable, Efficient Units to Brooklyn

A 14-story tower uses the ‘Passive House’ approach to drastically reduce energy use and improve quality of life for residents.

1 minute read

November 15, 2022, 9:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Rendering of 14-story Chestnut Commons building at twilight

City of New York / Chestnut Commons rendering

Writing for Bloomberg CityLab, Lizzie Kane describes a mixed-use Brooklyn development that combines affordable housing with sustainability via Passive House methods. The project is part of the East New York Neighborhood Plan, which is designed to guide responsible development in the area.

The building, known as Chestnut Commons, is the largest multifamily Passive House building in the state at 300,000 square feet. As Kane explains, “This European-born energy-efficiency standard combines advanced technology for ventilation, insulation and airtightness with design solutions that help retain heat in the winter and keep it out in the summer.” In addition to efficiency benefits, the Passive House approach also reduces noise and air pollution, Kane adds. “Thanks to its Passive House features, Chestnut Commons enjoys a 70% reduction in energy costs. An energy recovery ventilation system in each apartment raises efficiency, while highly insulated units prevent outside temperatures from intruding.”

The building features 275 affordable residential units and ground-floor retail. “Beyond the residential spaces, Chestnut Commons is also designed to offer amenities and resources for the surrounding community, including a neighborhood community center that now inhabits one of the first-floor retail spaces beneath the apartments.”

Sunday, November 13, 2022 in Bloomberg CityLab

View down New York City alleyway at nighttime

Red Cities, Blue Cities, and Crime

Homicides rose across the nation in 2020 and 2021. But did they rise equally in all cities, or was the situation worse in some than in others?

March 12, 2023 - Michael Lewyn

babyt Boomer Homeowners

The Shifting Boomer Bulge: More Bad News for America’s Housing Crisis?

In the first of a two-part series, PlaceMakers’ Ben Brown interviews housing guru Arthur C. Nelson on the sweeping demographic changes complicating the housing market.

March 12, 2023 - PlaceShakers and NewsMakers

Yellow on black "Expect Delays" traffic sign

A Serious Critique of Congestion Costs and Induced Vehicle Travel Impacts

Some highway advocates continue to claim that roadway expansions are justified to reduce traffic congestion. That's not what the research shows. It's time to stop obsessing over congestion and instead strive for efficient accessibility.

March 14, 2023 - Todd Litman

Washington D.C. Protest

IPCC Report: The World Is Running Out of Time on Climate Change

The planet is not doing enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a recent report published by the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

March 20 - International Panel on Climate Change

A view of the Boise skyline, across tress int he foreground. The state capitol is visible amongst other office buildings.

Skyline-Defining High-Rise Potentially Coming to Boise

A rendering making the rounds in Boise depicts a 40-story apartment building that would be taller than all other buildings in one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.

March 20 - Boise Dev

Interior of Tesla car with driver holding hands off wheel in 'full self-driving' mode

Buttigieg: Tesla ‘Autopilot’ Marketing ‘A Concern’

The USDOT secretary says marketing doesn’t fall under his department’s investigative authority, but expressed disapproval of language that implies autonomous operation.

March 20 - Bloomberg

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.