PHASE 3: THE BATTERY
Location: Northern Liberties, Philadelphia, PA
Client: Onion Flats
Completion Date: 2017
Phase 3 of Capital Flats, completed in 2017, responded to the need for attainable and sustainable market-rate housing in a neighborhood now fully gentrified and increasingly more socially and economically homogenous. Affordable one-bedroom apartments for young professionals, recent graduates or seniors on fixed-incomes are difficult to find below $1500/month + utilities. Phase 3 attempts to help balance that inequity by creating a four story, Net-Zero-Energy building, packed with 25 “micro-units”. This Philadelphia version of a micro-unit is a one bedroom, 500sf apartment starting at $1200/month and includes all utilities. In order to achieve this level of density, affordability, and sustainability, we maximized zoning allowances, density bonus incentives for a green roof, solar orientation, two - 1000’ deep geo-thermal wells which provide heating, cooling and hot water to ALL apartments, extensive green roof to manage storm water, a super-insulated, pre-fabricated, thermal envelop with triple-pane windows, air-tight construction and a 72 kW photovoltaic canopy on the roof which generates all the energy the building requires on an annual basis. The project is pending Passive House certification and is designed to consume 80% less energy than a similar code building.
A 500sf one-bedroom apartment can feel a lot smaller or larger than it’s physical dimensions, depending on the rigor of the design. Borrowing from earlier strategies in Phase 1 and 2 for unit definition, a simple material and color palette of translucent objects and planes distinguish living from sleeping and bathing areas, and maximize the experience of these “micro-units”. The majority of the apartments were leased before construction was completed and is now fully occupied.