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Aug. 15, 2013

Ridge Flats Net-Zero Energy Community in East Falls Gets the Green Light for Construction

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Onion Flats’ efforts to build Philadelphia’s first Passive House Certified and Net-Zero-Energy mixed-use community will finally come to fruition. Almost two years after the local developer was selected by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) to create the most innovative, energy-efficient housing development in the East Falls section of Northwest Philadelphia, the project received the green light from the City Planning Commission and a final OK from the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

This means that the Philadelphia-based developer can begin construction at the Ridge Flats in late 2013 or early 2014 and start receiving applications by mid-2015, according to NewsWorks. Located at 4300-4326 Ridge Avenue and designed by Plumbob LLC, the community will serve as a “gateway” into the East Falls area and a transitional buffer between the heavily transited Kelly Drive and the pedestrian oriented Fairmount Park trails. By using several high-performance building and sustainability strategies, Ridge Flats will incorporate renewable, recycled and locally sourced construction materials. Once completed, the project is expected to become a model of sustainable design and building practices. The list of “green” amenities includes:

-          Intensive and extensive green roofs for the entire built area

-          Storm water management systems

-          Low-flow fixtures and faucets which will reduce water consumption by at least 50%

-          An energy-monitoring system that will be accessible online by all residents

-          A solar PV array of 200 KW that will generate enough electricity for the community to operate

-          Triple-pane windows, super-insulation and air-tight construction

-          ZIP/Philly Car Share parking spaces and electric charging ports within the parking lot

According to the project description, the nearly 130,000-square-foot community will include 146 one- and two-bedroom rentals, with rents varying from $1,300 to $2,000 per month. The five-story building will also have up to 9,500 square feet of street-level retail space along Ridge Avenue and Calumet Street, 138 parking spaces, and a large public plaza at the intersection of Kelly Drive and Calumet Street.


Rendering credits to Onion Flats/Plumbob 


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