2015 Bmore Resilient Design Competition: Most Resilient Concept – The bMORE Resiliency CO*OP Metrics

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Team: Michael Hindle, Adam Ganser, Peter May, Katelin Posthuma, Carri Beer, Jack Sullivan | School: University of Maryland
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Project Narrative

The rowhome neighborhoods of Baltimore will become more resilient to potentially catastrophic climate events by developing an empowering economic stability, a responsible environmental ethos and practice, and a confident, self-sustaining social interaction through mutually supportive alliances within and throughout their communities. These communities will thrive when economic, environmental and social justice prevails.

A “Community Cooperative” has the potential to bring people together with a common goal of adapting to expected and unanticipated risks and vulnerabilities. By applying creative thinking to innovative building solutions and maintenance, renewable energy access and efficient use, and intelligent natural resource development, protection, and reuse, small communities throughout the city will establish high-performance environments that will make them resilient to the vagaries of climate change.

In this proposal, environmental, social and economic resilience will be achieved; in the following ways:

ENVIRONMENTAL RESILIENCE:

  1. Passive House building technologies were incorporated to reduce energy demands by a total of 82% from existing conditions (92% systems reduction and 59% non-system load reductions). Highly insulated and tightly sealed envelopes are key to energy reductions. Methods can be constructed with little to no extra cost and are cost positive when considering energy bills.  All windows have been replaced with Passive House Standard casement or tilt-turn windows;
    1. All energy calculations are based on a base load of 75% of typical home energy use as defined by ResNet, and entered in WUFI Passive simulation software. PV generation assumptions are generated through NREL’s PV Watts, assuming 65% of available roof area, and resulting in 7712kWhr/yr production per residence.
  2. Solar photovoltaic panels establish independence from power grids that are vulnerable to severe weather events and prolonged service disruption;
    1. bMORE CO*OP’s PV arrays are sized for community resiliency. The coop will be a Net-Zero Energy community, however, annual Net-Zero performance is not sufficient to ensure resiliency. Many projects achieve Net-Zero by over-producing during summer months to balance out under-production in the winter. A resilient community, on the other hand, must produce enough energy through renewable means to meet all of its critical demands during the worst case demand/production condition for an extended period of crisis.
    2. Therefore, bMORE CO*OP’s envelope, systems, electrical circuitry and PV array are designed to deliver all critical loads even during an extended grid failure in the depths of winter. Critical loads are defined as all HVAC functions (including continuous, balanced energy recovery ventilation), refrigeration, cooking, 30% of lighting, and 20% of plug loads.
    3. Battery back-up charged during surplus hours and methane from Anaerobic Digesters in the waste management systems supply additional energy during winter emergencies to power non-critical loads.
  3. Extensive green cloaks, native lawns and pervious paving and agriculture areas reduce the heat island effect and contribute positively to building efficiency, slowing stormwater runoff, and creating wildlife habitat;
  4. Stormwater runoff control and capture through bio-filtration and cistern storage for gray water irrigation and toilet flushing. One designated 10,500 gallon B.A.S.Scistern will be treated with reverse osmosis and UV disinfection to provide the entire neighborhood with 10 days of water;
  5. Increase tree canopy to sequester carbon, reduce the heat island effect, create cooling summer shade, separate street traffic from sidewalk activities, and establish comfortable and pleasant civic environments;

SOCIAL RESILIENCY

  1. Cooperative values and common goals for a healthy and fulfilling life with mutual support through education programs, community interaction, and the free exchange of ideas;
  2. Individual empowerment through training programs and engaged participation in the maintenance of the physical, intellectual, and emotional strengths of the cooperative;
  3. Long-term commitment to shared governance and mutual respect through the strength of individual voices;
  4. Improve transportation alternatives and efficiencies through ride-share programs, e-car cooperative rental agreements, bicycle storage and sharing systems, and effective, reliable bus and shuttle schedules;
  5. Encourage diversity in the community make-up by diversifying the housing stock, improving universal access, providing day care for children and elders, and making “aging-in-place” a common cause for inter-generational interaction and support.

ECONOMIC RESILIENCE

  1. High-performance building, HVAC systems, and solar technology installation and maintenance training and job development;
  2. Living systems apprenticeship programs to train experts in low-impact waste treatment, greenhouse technologies, and natural systems industries throughout Baltimore;
  3. Urban food and nursery farming, animal husbandry, environmental stewardship training, and entrepreneurial food production and distribution practices;
  4. Cooperative exchange for independent artists, craftspeople, and makers in a shared, carbon-neutral environment.
  5. Center for building and landscape preservation, rehabilitation and construction expertise, skills, and business practices.

PRE-RETROFIT

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POST-RETROFIT

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