PHA to Replace High-Rise with LEED Certified Apartments

Site being demolished by wrecking ball 

Norris Demo Kelly Speaking

PHA's recently appointed Administrative Receiver Michael P. Kelly, an architect with a LEED Green Associate Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, believes that the new Norris Apartments are a cutting edge development. He told the crowd at the demolition ceremony that the new development is modern, sustainable, and affordable…a win-win for the residents and the environment.


Norris Wrecking Ball

The old Norris high-rise development is being dismantled by wrecking ball, the first time PHA has used the lower cost conventional demolition rather than implosion to take down one of its old high rises. Construction of the new development is expected to begin on April 1st with completion expected in one year.



Norris Rendering

The new Norris Apartments will have 51 units in a mix of walkups and townhomes. The design includes a small pocket park in the center courtyard that provides residents some green space while limiting rainwater runoff into the city sewer system. PHA expects to save at least 20 percent in energy costs at the new homes because LEED standards are so high.

 

(PHILADELPHIA, March 25, 2011)- Demonstrating that its transformative construction program continues, the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) today began demolition of the Norris Apartments just off the edge of the Temple University campus in North Philadelphia to make way for a high-performance green development. The high-rise development is being dismantled by wrecking ball, the first time PHA has used the lower cost conventional demolition rather than implosion to take down one of its old high rises. PHA's recently appointed Administrative Receiver Michael P. Kelly made the ceremonial first wrecking ball hit into the high-rise.

PHA will replace this 1950's building with the agency's first-ever Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified complex.  LEED is an environmentally oriented building certification program. The program focuses on five key areas of environmental and human health: energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, materials selection, sustainable site development, and water savings. LEED standards are nationally accepted for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings.

Kelly, an architect with a LEED Green Associate Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council said, "I am excited to be a part of this cutting edge development. The new Norris Apartments signify PHA's progressive approach to developing housing to the underserved population in the city. These apartments are modern, sustainable and affordable. That makes it a win-win for the residents and the environment. "

The new development will have 51 units in a mix of walkups and townhomes in an area bounded by Diamond, Norris, 11th and Alder Streets. The design includes a small pocket park in the center courtyard of the new development that provides residents some green space while limiting rainwater runoff into the city sewer system. The new Norris will also host a pilot project with the Philadelphia Water Department to reduce storm water runoff from adjacent streets.

The new homes will also have solar hot water panels on the roof, Energy Star windows, equipment and appliances, low flow plumbing fixtures, compact fluorescent light (CFL) fixtures, and native landscaping. The design of the new development also uses cross ventilation.

PHA expects to save at least 20 percent in energy costs at the new homes because LEED standards are so high. Those standards also require the agency to buy locally made materials as much as possible. This reduces PHA's "carbon footprint" by reducing the amount of energy it takes to transport building materials to the site.

Construction of the new development will begin on April 1st with completion expected in one year. There is room at the site to build more homes and Kelly said PHA will at a later point evaluate whether to add to the original 51 units.