My firm, Synapse Capital, announced last December that our property at 542 West 153rd Street, which we are developing in partnership with Taurus Investment Holdings, would become the first Passive House market-rate rental building in Manhattan. The seven-story building, located between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Harlem, will contain 34 residential units consisting primarily of 1- and 2-bedroom apartments with amenities that include a resident lounge, rooftop garden, gym, bike storage, resident storage, 18 parking spaces and a Virtual Doorman system.
Passive House construction relies on modern and relatively inexpensive building methods, such as substantial exterior insulation, airtightness, minimal thermal bridging, and triple-pane windows to reduce energy transfer. Our vision for the property is to provide smarter, happier living by rethinking urban living from the ground up. In line with this vision, our decision to have the building meet Passive House standards is two-fold: first, we want to create a better living experience for our tenants, and we believe that focusing on the environmental footprint of our property is critical to achieving this goal. Offering our residents space in a highly energy efficient building provides a quieter and more comfortable living environment, which translates into longer retention and higher satisfaction for those who reside at the property. Second, the design ensures substantial operational savings as the owner of the property.
When we closed on the 9,900-square-foot lot with Taurus, Crain’s New York Business, The Real Deal, and Curbed covered the purchase and our plans for the building to become the first multifamily building in Manhattan to meet the Passive House standards, noting savings of 80-90% in energy costs versus those of a similarly sized building of a standard design and construction quality. Word of benefits like these is spreading: a handful of smaller Passive House buildings are already in existence in the outer boroughs, particularly Brooklyn; several countries in Europe, especially Germany, have been utilizing passive house technology for more than two decades already. Chris Benedict—our architect for the project, who specializes in constructing energy-efficient buildings at no additional cost to developers—is also building a 24-unit passive apartment building in Bushwick. We plan to complete the development of the project in Harlem over the next eighteen months.
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Developers Synapse Capital closed on a 9,900-square-foot lot at 542 West 153rd Street this morning and have plans to construct a 40-unit passive building on the site, Crain’s reports. The building will be the first in Manhattan to meet passive standards, although there are already a handful in the outer boroughs, especially Brooklyn.
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Manhattan is set to get its first residential building that measures up to passive house standards, a set of green guidelines that aim to cut heating costs by 90% through the use of solar energy, better insulation and other measures. A big step in that direction took place Wednesday morning when the development arm of Synapse Capital closed on the purchase of a 9,900 square-foot lot in Harlem.
“We’ve discovered a process by which we can build a building we think will cost the same, consume less energy and create a better quality of life for the people inside,” said Al Picallo, managing partner at Synapse.
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