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C.R.E.A.M. (Carbon Rules Everything Around Me) II
The Bronx, New York
Competition Entry for the ASHRAE Lowdown Showdown with Jason Lackie, Saad Gondal, Manalee Nabar, Kristy Kwong, Claudia Mezey, Matt Dempsey, Mohammad Abbasi

Throughout this century and beyond, New York City will face unprecedented challenges from the anthropogenic climate crisis, and many of the City’s most underserved communities will be disproportionately burdened by climate impacts. Developing healthier, more affordable and resilient residential infrastructure is crucial to ensuring the longevity of the City’s rich social fabric and well-being of its residents. Bronx Community District 3 (BX3), the location of our site, is an area where over 30% of people live below the federal poverty line and over 50% suffer from rent burden. By the 2080’s, city projections indicate that NYC could spend most of summer at or above 90°F, with extreme heat wave events increasing in frequency as climate change impacts mount. Due to residents’ age and income, as well as the area’s tree coverage and extent of hardscape, BX3 is flagged as a high heat vulnerability area.

Our proposed new development at 1764 Vyse Avenue addresses these risks directly, applying a placemaking approach to transform an existing strip mall into a vibrant, walkable community. The centerpiece of the development, the urban square, enhances the existing retail destination and expands access to outdoor space. Ample access to green space is available at the urban square, lobby, podium, and rooftop.

The residential program is split into two towers to permit a narrower floor plate for daylight and ventilation while maintaining an optimal solar orientation. The southern facades of the towers are clad in BIPV, and two PV arrays are located on trellises on the roof, shading the rooftop restaurant and terrace while generating electricity. An additional array is located on the roof of a new garage that replaces the displaced retail mall parking. All bedrooms have operable windows which are recessed on the south side to provide shading. Each living room has a large window that folds down to form a balcony. This feature provides natural ventilation and gives residents a way to connect with the outdoors and each other from their units. Unlike a typical balcony construction, these morphing window balconies can return to a vertical position to become part of the continuous thermal enclosure. The circulation elements are revealed to the exterior and glazed to bring in daylight and ventilation. Enhanced circulation with sufficient daylight and views promotes occupant usage of the stairwells while enhancing safety and resiliency.

Our project optimizes our site generation and storage to shift electric demand, drawing power from the grid during periods where the carbon cost is lowest and utilizing stored energy when carbon cost is higher. This approach reduces the carbon emissions associated with electric usage. The project intends to enroll in the City’s Water Conservation and Reuse Grant and Comprehensive Water Reuse Programs to help fund the installation of an advanced water reclamation system to conserve water resources and reduce stress on municipal water infrastructure.