Manhattan Passive House Community Nears Completion
The 108-unit property will include an affordable housing component.
Developer SMA Equities is approaching the completion of Gemma Gramercy, a 108-unit community located in Midtown Manhattan. Hill West Architects is the project’s architect, while Whitehall Interiors is responsible for the interior design. The development is slated for completion this spring, according to a spokesperson representing the architect of the project. The leasing activity at the property is being managed by Real NY.
The 20-story Gemma Gramercy in set to encompass a variety of floorplans, ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments, with 28 of the units designated for affordable housing. The design of the 95,000-square-foot building includes a setback on the 13th floor, private terraces for select units, a sidewalk canopy and a rooftop deck.
At full build-out, the development will feature a range of sustainable design features, including exterior air barrier, utilization of Aeroblock to replace traditional concrete masonry units for the exterior wall to increase insulation, as well as triple-glazed windows to enhance energy efficiency and soundproofing.
All units will integrate fresh air with energy recovery through the ducting of ERV and regular blower door testing on the exterior envelope to monitor air leakage. Amenities at the property will include a fitness center, resident lounge, coworking space and bicycle storage.
Located at 200 E. 23rd St., Gemma Gramercy is close to Gramercy Park, Madison Square Park and Union Square Park, providing easy access to New York City’s array of retail, dining, entertainment and nightlife offerings. The community is also close to various universities, including Parsons School of Design, the Fashion Institute of Technology, The New School and Baruch College.
Additionally, Gemma Gramercy is located near various transit options, including the 6 train at 23rd Street and Park Avenue, the R and W trains at 23rd Street and Broadway, as well as the N, Q, 4, 5, and L trains at Union Square.
Passive House standards gain momentum
Passive House standards have gained popularity in the U.S. in recent years as a construction method that doesn’t compromise on meeting rigorous codes, while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Designed to meet Passive House standards, the project is not only Hills West’s first of its kind, but also one of the first rental buildings in Manhattan to attain this certification upon completion. The development incorporates a blend of sustainability and energy-efficient technology, resulting in an anticipated 85 percent reduction in energy consumption, setting a new standard for a more environmentally-conscious New York City skyline.
At the end of last year, Interfaith Housing Development Corp. broke ground on Conservatory Apartments, a 43-unit affordable housing project that is set to become Chicago’s largest multifamily building to achieve Passive House Certification.
The initial phase of a $1.2 billion revamp of the former Brooklyn Developmental Center campus in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn is also underway. The $373 million development will include 576 affordable apartments. Designed to meet Passive House standards, the project will feature a closed-loop geothermal heat pump system for energy-efficient heating and cooling.