Knickerbocker Commons, NY


Knickerbocker Commons is a six-story affordable multifamily passive building development in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. The project features 24 apartments open to disabled and low-income renters, with six of the units providing handicap accessibility.

Through sustainable measure like the building's insulating and shading foam and stucco facade, a high-functioning ventilation system that retains warmth, and by harvesting solar energy, the building will use just 10 percent of the energy normally consumed by a comparable code built building of similar size. Not only will energy bills in the building be low, so too will monthly rents: apartments will be priced between $600 and $1,100.

Design Solutions

Design Solutions - Site

Design Solutions - Envelope

The facade is formed from insulation wedges that vary in thickness from 3 to 12 inches and provide shading as well as the necessary insulation value to meet passive house standards. While these wedges create a dynamic play of shadows on the façade, the aesthetic is not something typically seen in North America and required some getting used to – particularly from the standpoint of the contractor. While we had initially planned to create the wedges onsite, this was not ultimately feasible and the manufacturer cut the forms offsite. 

Design Solutions - MEP Systems