Brooklyn, New York

Program: A six-story, 78,000-square-foot affordable housing complex for low-income and formerly homeless residents in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Designed for the New York City-based nonprofit developer Common Ground, the 161-unit residence offers studio apartments, as well as an interior courtyard, computer lab, fitness center, and laundry facilities. Designed for LEED silver certification, the residence uses a bevy of sustainable design elements, including a 3,400-square-foot green roof, solar panels, light and motion sensors, and low-flush toilets.


Design concept and solution: The architects relied on a non-intrusive aesthetic and lined the exterior of the building with red brickwork. They also installed large, modular windows to facilitate community engagement and reduce energy consumption. Built on the site of a former parking lot, the L-shaped edifice abuts two existing four-story residential buildings and uses energy-efficient materials to reduce energy costs.  Building on the idea that sustainable design is both economically prudent and healthy for residents, the architects created an adjacent garden flanked by concrete paths crafted from permeable pavers made out of post-consumer recycled glass.

Construction cost: $26.2 million

Completion date: April 2012


Common Ground
505 Eighth Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10018
t: 212-389-9323
f: 212-471-0825

Cook+Fox Architects
641 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10011
t: 212-477-0287
f: 212-477-4521

MEP Engineer:
Goldman Copeland
520 Eighth Avenue, 9th Fl
New York, NY 10018
t: 212-868-4660
f: 212-868-4680

Structural Engineer:
Murray Engineering
307 7th Avenue, Suite 1001
New York, NY 10001
t: 212-741-1102
f: 212-741-1104

Terrain NYC
200 Park Avenue, Suite 1401
New York, NY 10003
t: 212-537-6080
f: 212-537-6079

Environmental Engineer
Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers
14 Penn Plaza, 6th Fl
New York, NY 10122
t: 917-339-9300
f: 917-339-9400

Soil Engineer
SESI Consulting Engineers
12A Maple Avenue
Pine Brook, NJ 07058
t: 973-808-9050
f: 973-808-9099

LEED Consultant
YRG Sustainability Consultants
217 Grand Street, 8th Fl
New York, NY 10013
t/f: 917-677-8023

Energy Modeling
Steven Winter Associates
307 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1701
New York, NY 10011
t: 212-564-5800
f: 212-741-8673

Code Consultant
JAM Consultants
104 West 29th Street
New York, NY 10011
t: 212-627-1050

General contractor:
Mountco Construction and Development Corp.
700 White Plains Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
t: 914-723-1200

Photographer(s): © Cook+Fox Architects

Renderer(s): © Cook+Fox Architects



Structural system
Precast Concrete Planks
Kingston Block w/Pozzotive CMU bearing wall

Exterior cladding
Masonry: Glen Gary Brick, Kingston Block

Metal/glass curtain wall: EFCO

Moisture barrier: Henry Co. Air Block

Built-up roofing: Johns Mansville

Other: Green Roof Blocks

Metal frame: Quaker Windows and Doors

Glass: Viracon

Skylights: Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope

Locksets: Schlage

Exit devices: Von Duprin

Pulls: Inox

Interior finishes
Acoustical ceilings: Armstrong, Tectum, Inc installed in lobby

Demountable partitions: 3Form,  Modernfold

Paints and stains: Benjamin Moore

Solid surfacing: Dupont Corian

Floor and wall tile: Daltile, Nemo Tile

Resilient flooring: Forbo, Monster’s Inc.

Downlights: Lightolier, Focal Point, Lucifer

Exterior: Bega

Elevators/Escalators: ThyssenKrupp

American Standard, Sloan, Delta

Photovoltaic system: Sun Power