TRANSFORMATIVE CLIMATE COMMUNITIES
YMCA Forges Ahead on Passive-House Project
Raritan Bay Area YMCA
Our Raritan Bay Area YMCA team is excited to have recently obtained several necessary permits and approvals from the City of Perth Amboy. We have continued moving towards “shovels in the ground” on our project. Patience and diligence are two qualities needed when working on such an innovative and creative project. However, despite any obstacles, the YMCA remains committed to this project. We look forward to the day – in the not-too-distant future – when we will be able to welcome two deserving families to a newly constructed home using many principles of passive design.
During this process, subject matter experts supported us, providing educational material on key concepts in passive house design. This included information on elements such as:
• energy efficiency
• air quality
• interior comfort
• solar access and management
• exterior conditions
• site opportunities
• landscaping design
• water use
• post-occupancy evaluations
We were thankful for this assistance as we strive to learn about passive design, incorporate it into the project, and make a healthy and sustainable home for future residents. For example, in studying the research, we came to appreciate how passive solar and other forms of home energy design are essentially holistic practices in that systems are interconnected, and decisions in one system can positively or negatively affect other processes or outcomes. In addition, it also helped us realize the importance of thinking through local context, as urban, suburban, and rural areas present different challenges and opportunities.
Despite delays with our project schedule, the Y is steadfast in seeing this project through to completion. While construction on this project has not yet begun, we are happy that we have finally received all the needed permits and approvals from the City of Perth Amboy and the YMCA Board of Directors. We expect to set a firm start date on this project shortly. By attempting this model project, we hope it will inspire others to pursue passive design in affordable housing projects. We look forward to sharing our lessons learned with other organizations.