More About the ABC No Rio ‘Passive House,’ Set to Begin Construction Next Year
Back in November, the Department of Buildings finally approved plans for the new ABC No Rio on Rivington Street. The four-story “Passive House,” already a decade in the making, will replace the fabled and famed original tenement building razed two years ago.
The state-of-the-art facility, designed by local architect Paul A. Castrucci, will eventually boast larger exhibition and performance spaces (doubling the size), in addition to a green roof and second-floor terrace. The solar-equipped building will also have an elevator and host the organization’s zine library, computer lab, print shop, dark room, and kitchen.
ABC No Rio director Steve Englander provided the following update and appeal yesterday to raise money toward the goal. Construction on the new facility is expected to begin early next year.
Everyone’s memories of ABC No Rio include shivering through winter performances and melting down in the summer months.
In our new building we will continue our community programs and projects, but without all the freezing and melting. ABC No Rio’s new building is designed to meet the advanced standard known as Passive House, which focuses on raising comfort levels while achieving deep reductions in energy use and carbon emissions. This is likely to be the first public Passive House building in Manhattan, with a super-insulated thermal envelope, high performance windows, robust air sealing, energy recovery ventilation and heating, passive heating/shading, and high efficiency lighting and appliances.
Because Passive House buildings are super-insulated and air-tight, interior temperatures are extremely stable, even during prolonged power outages. Passive House buildings can maintain temperatures within the comfort zone for several days during power outages and can maintain livable temperatures for weeks. Passive House buildings reduce energy use, leading to reduced energy bills.
We’re very proud that New York State’s Energy Research and Development Agency is supporting our project through its Alternative Buildings Program. We will monitor, analyze, and report on our building’s performance, and develop public outreach related to the implementation of our use of Passive House design.
We trust that our supporters share our vision of environmental sustainability and cultural autonomy, and want to join us in demonstrating that sustainable design is not just for massive office buildings or luxury condominiums, but also for smaller grassroots spaces open and accessible to the public.
Please donate to ABC No Rio and read more about our new building at [our website].
Long gone are the days of “Abogado Con Notario,” but hopefully the new digs will pay homage to its squat and punk roots.