Bedford Mews is located on a 12-acre site in an appealing rural community north of New York City. LHPA was retained to design 160 units of tightly clustered housing with a density far in excess of surrounding developments in a way that minimized the limitations of a sandy site denuded of vegetation and bounded by a gravel quarry to the east and by a women’s prison to the south.
The complex consists of two-and three-bedroom townhouses, internally oriented within the development, with balconies, private gardens and public open space. Each cluster has a central landscaped court on one side. Access to the lower level apartments is from this common space, while access to the upper level units, oriented to a system of walkways, is from outside the cluster. Near the center of the complex is a large open space set aside for community use.
Potential energy-saving measures were evaluated and the best were integrated into the structures. The two-story units were combined with party walls in tight urban fashion to reduce the number of exterior walls exposed to winter cold. The clustering around courtyards and the strategic location of plantings reduces wind exposure and velocity. Several of the units were designed to be equipped with the Ecosol 101 Energy Recovery System financed by a Department of Housing and Urban Development Cycle II Demonstration Grant. This system is a compact, packaged, solar-fired mechanical unit designed to meet the heating, hot water and air conditioning needs of low-rise residential and small business buildings. With the addition of solar collectors and a water storage reservoir, the system collects, stores, recovers and distributes solar energy to meet winter space heating requirements. It also air conditions to satisfy summer cooling loads, and heat water for domestic use year-round.
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