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Sustainable Design

   The new building will be in line with our environmental politics, utilizing sustainable design principles: energy and water efficiency and conservation; use of local and recycled materials; use of less toxic (low VOC) materials; recycling of materials from our demolition; creation of a green roof; and use of both active and passive solar technologies. Our commitment to building in this way emerges from ABC No Rio's mission and purpose.

   In 2013 the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency selected our project to participate in their Alternative Buildings Program, and awarded the project over $250,000 to implement our Passive House design. Passive House focuses on achieving deep building energy use reductions. The method features super-insulated thermal envelopes, high performance windows, robust air sealing, energy recovery ventilation, passive heating/shading, and high efficiency lighting and appliances.

Our Architect

   We are thrilled to be working with architect Paul Castrucci on the design of the new building. Paul has over twenty years experience and has designed or renovated over 1,000 dwelling units and numerous historic buildings and cultural institutions. Paul specializes in contextual, sustainable and energy-efficient design.
   One of his buildings can be seen right down the block at 179 Rivington Street, and he recently designed the R-951 Residence in Brooklyn, one of the first Passive House/Net-Zero buildings in New York.
   Paul has also been involved in the cultural milieu of which ABC No Rio is part. He was co-founder of the Bullet Space gallery and squat and is the architect for several of the formerly squatted buildings on the Lower East Side now being developed as limited-equity coops. Paul's commitment to sustainable and energy-efficient design resonates with ABC No Rio's institutional values. His understanding of what is unique about ABC No Rio has served us well in designing a new space for our projects and programs.

Please Contribute

   The total project cost for building our new facility is expected to be $8 million over two phases, including demo, soft costs, and outfitting. This new facility will allow us to augment and enhance ABC No Rio's use of the site for all our projects and programs. And we will show New York City and the world that sustainable design is not just for massive office buildings or luxury condominiums, but also for smaller grassroots spaces open and accessible to the public.
   To date, we have in place almost 80% of the funds needed for this project. We've raised $1.5 million in private funding, have received over $5 million in support from the City of New York, and $275,000 from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, funded through Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The project is moving forward, and we're working closely with the NYC Economic Development Corporation and the Dept. of Cultural Affairs.
  Now more than ever we need the support of people who share our vision of environmental sustainability and cultural autonomy, of artfully aware activism and socially engaged art.

Contribute to the ABC No Rio Building Fund





A New Building

We're proud to share with you here our design for a new facility at our Rivington Street location.

The existing building is distressed and in disrepair. Our architect and engineer determined that existing conditions would make responsible repair and renovation difficult, and not significantly less costly than new construction. Through new construction we will build dramatically improved facilities for our cultural, community and educational activities. We will:

  • double the size of our gallery and performance space
  • create spaces specifically designed for our programs and events
  • install new energy- and water-efficient building-wide systems
  • increase our capacity for alternative energy use
  • build to the rigorous Passive House specification
Cross-section of new building plan for ABC No Rio

More Images

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We are grateful for the support received for this project from New York City Councilmember Christopher Marte, the New York City Council, and former City Councilmembers Margaret Chin and Alan Gerson; former Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, funded through Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; the Dedalus Foundation; the Golden Rule Foundation; the Lily Auchincloss Foundation; the Light Fund of New York; the New York State Council on the Arts; and many, many hundreds of individual contributors and supporters. Thank you.