Posts Tagged ‘LEED Platinum’

Rosendale Invites Birchez Associates

Friday, August 6th, 2010

August 6, 2010: On Wednesday, August 11, at 7pm, at the Rosendale Community Center on Route 32, members of the Rosendale community will have the chance to offer input on Birchez Associates’ recent proposal for affordable senior and workforce housing and a new town hall in the Town of Rosendale.  Invited by the town to submit a request for proposal (RFP), Birchez looks to continue its track record of bringing top quality, affordable senior housing to Rosendale, while also providing a unique solution to the town’s need for a new base of municipal operations.

In an effort to maximize sustainability and provide the town with a long-lasting building, Birchez Associates hasproposed that the long-vacant Tillson School be rehabbed as the new Town Hall.  The Kingston School District had vacated the Tillson School over 10 years ago and today it sits, on 8.4 acres, just attracting the occasional vandal. Instead, Birchez proposes transforming the existing school plant to a flexible and expandable Town Hall that could accommodate not only current needs but unforeseen needs in years to come (preliminary artist’s rendering pictured). In the interim, the Town could use 14,000 to 20,000 square feet of the structure and dedicate an additional 7,000 to 10,000 square feet to related town offices, community use and/or office rental, creating a Town Hall campus or complex. The site will provide plenty of parking, which may be an issue if the Creek Locks Road site is used for the Town Hall. Plus the location may serve as a magnet for Tillson businesses in this hamlet of the town of Rosendale.

Birchez’ proposal for the rehab of Tillson School envisions a LEED/sustainable approach to this adaptive reuse. “There’s no better way to recycle and be green than to reuse a building for something new,” said Judy Calogero, CEO of the New York Housing Conference and President of Calogero Partners who has participated in Birchez’ proposal. Ms. Calogero is former Commissioner of the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, a key player in affordable housing in the state.

The Residential component in the proposal consists of the construction of up to 72 rental units. Some of the units may be designated rent to buy in the work force housing component; the majority are slated to be affordable senior apartments. The final composition is subject to further input from town residents. Landscaping plans incorporate public access to the Creek which hugs the property. This intergenerational housing concept would be LEED Certified and would incorporate extensive green and sustainable features such as solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, “green/living roofing” and pervious parking.

Birchez Associates recently completed its fifth affordable housing community in Ulster County, The Birches at Chambers, a 67 apartment complex adjacent to both the Chambers Elementary School and Chambers Court, a 72 apartment complex and the first affordable housing community Birchez built just six years ago. The Birches at Chambers, already certified by the New York State Energy & Development Agency (NYSERDA) as an Energy $mart Building, is on track to be the second largest multifamily – anywhere – to be certified as LEED (Leader in Energy & Environmental Design) Platinum by the Green Building Council.

Last year Birchez completed The Birches at Esopus, an 80 unit affordable senior community in Ulster Park. This was the first low-rise multifamily complex to be certified as an Energy $mart Building by NYSERDA. The Birches at Esopus garnered the 2010 Project of the Year – Upstate award by the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH) and is currently one of four national finalists for Senior Project of the Year in a competition sponsored by Affordable Housing Finance Magazine (the winner will be announced in the November issue). Details on the existing Birchez Associates communities can be found on its website:

The full proposal from Birchez Associates can be found on the Town of Rosendale’s website here:  The executive summary can be found at pages 18-19. The proposal includes summaries of the proposed Town Hall project at the Tillson School, the Residential project on Creek Locks Road, and the Sewer Upgrade & Backup Water Supply project to which Birchez has proposed contributing substantially to the cost of grant submissions. (Note: the file is large, and will take a few minutes to open or download.)

Contact: K.J. McIntyre, Director of Marketing, Birchez Associates, 843-532-7528 or

The Birches at Chambers Affordable Senior Community in Kingston Hosts Dedication on July 8

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Hudson Valley Green Sheet July 7, 2010,

Posted By Nancy Meyer

KINGSTON–On Thursday, July 8, the residents of The Birches at Chambers invite the public to the dedication of the newest community of Birchez Associates LLC. The residents will show off their new homes and Birchez Associates will demonstrate what affordable housing can achieve.

Some 200 or more people are expected, including Congressman Maurice Hinchey and other political leaders, to salute the debut of the company’s newest 66-apartment community in the Town of Ulster. The main building qualifies for Platinum LEED Certification, the highest possible achievement in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification process. With the addition of The Birches at Chambers to the family, Birchez has reached a significant milestone of helping over 300 economically qualified seniors to live in energy efficient buildings with outstanding lifestyle amenities, the company reports.

The event will include green building announcements; exhibits will include sustainable building, senior amenities, health & wellness, and rental opportunities and affordability guidelines. Tours will be given to members of the media.

This event will place the spotlight on a public-private sector formula that shows what developers can do to enhance the quality of life for seniors. Birchez Associates’ communities provide affordable opportunities in buildings styled for these citizens.

A Sign of Things to Come

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

TOWN OF ULSTER, NY JULY 1, 2010 – Next Thursday, July 8, guests who make their way to The Birches at Chambers will get a glimpse into the future.  The newest development to join the Birchez Associates family of communities is a representation of tomorrow—both in terms of its environmental advancements, but also in the promise of a better tomorrow it gives its senior residents.

One of the most exciting aspects of The Birches at Chambers is the news that the building qualifies for platinum certification under LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, sponsored by the US Green Building Council.  This is the highest level of achievement a building can get, so when Joe Malcarne, the LEED Accredited Professional who is working on the project, announced his determination of the building’s platinum qualification, the response within the company has been one of pleasant surprise.

“We’re so very happy about it,” said Steve Aaron, Managing Member of Birchez Associates, and the development’s organizer.  “Because we didn’t start off saying we want to be LEED Platinum, we started off saying, ‘let’s do the right thing.’”

High-quality insulation, energy recovery ventilators, and forthcoming solar panels are just a few of the features that were cited as bringing the high level of certification.  In fact, every apartment was blow-tested to ensure that air doesn’t escape into the hallway from underneath the doors, keeping warm air in during the colder months.

The company’s reliance on quality, environmental innovation is only growing stronger, and it’s assured that future Birchez developments will sport similar energy-saving technologies.  Plans are currently underway to create a comparable senior community in Fishkill, NY—and it’s likely that the positive sustainability strides made in the Town of Ulster will be amplified when the Fishkill development’s construction is under way.

It’s obvious that energy efficiency and sustainability are good for the earth, but it’s easy to forget that going green is good for wallets, too.  Because energy consumption is low, the utilities for the senior residents of The Birches at Chambers run a fraction of what a comparable square footage unit might run.  This lowers costs all around—meaning lower rents for residents—creating an elevated standard of living for the seniors who call the building home.

As part of the draws of the dedication on July 8, the development’s LEED AP Joe Malcarne will be showing an exhibit during on the development’s green and sustainable building practices.  The exhibit and tours of the building will offer insight into how The Birches at Chambers went from conceptual stages to a constructed reality, and what people can expect from the company’s future.

Brian Rubin for Birchez Associates,