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IAACAT 1st Contest for Self-Sufficient Habitat
Hudson River Housing Development, New York, New York
142,400 SF gross area
Maintaining a balance between ecology and human use is one of the most important problems facing the future of our planet.  This contest required competitors to select and develop their own site for a sustainable housing project.  The Hudson River site, just offshore of the Borough of Manhattan between 61st and 68th Streets, was chosen for its ecological sensitivity, population density and high profile.  The proposal to develop sustainable housing on the Hudson River in New York City provides an opportunity for the adaptive reuse of New York’s notoriously underdeveloped shoreline, adding much needed housing, and educating millions of people about environmental awareness.   
The proposed housing is situated among the existing ruins of piers and takes advantage of the various alternate energy sources provided by the abundant water, air and sun available by using renewable energy sources such as tidal hydropower, photovoltaic cells, and wind power.  It emulates in density and scale the row houses built during the turn of the 20th century.  The entire development of approximately 142,400 SF would provide housing for approximately three hundred people in one hundred thirty-two 1-, 2- or 3-bedroom apartments.    
The general construction of the housing would balance green materials with durable ones and be built for energy efficiency.  The buildings would utilize waste product or recycled materials such as pre-cast pozzolan (fly ash concrete) for the piers, piles and the houses as well as engineered wood, recycled steel and aluminum.  Photocatalytic concrete and self-cleaning glass would reduce chemicals and labor for the maintenance of the buildings.  Extensive use low-E glass, brise-soleils, and passive ventilation would allow maximum use of day lighting and control heat gain. 
The housing development consists of five piers, each with seven row houses.  Each pier is between 133 – 159 meters long and 22 meters wide, comparable to the existing piers.  Each row house has a footprint of 12.8 meters wide (East-West direction) by 10.67 meters deep (North-South direction) and shares a stair hall and entrance vestibule with the adjacent house.  The development would share some facilities with the surrounding community such as a community center with multi-function event rooms for meetings, parties and movie screenings, a daycare, a boathouse, a market/café and a gym with a natural pool.  Each pier would host in one of its row houses a community activity along with a greenhouse at the top floor.  The greenhouses would be able to sell their produce at the market/cafe located on one of the piers.  The remaining six row houses on each pier would be residential with green roofs.  Cisterns under the piers would reuse rain water for the greenhouses and landscaping.  Tidal grasses and plants around the piers would clean runoff water and the natural pool next to the gym would provide a habitat for native species. 
Using solar, wind and tidal power along with efficient, durable building construction, the Hudson River Housing Development would tread lightly on the grid and its gravity as a paradigm shift in sustainable urban housing would generate momentum for issues of sustainability, renewable energy and adaptive reuse in a landmark urban setting. 
project info