The Hegeman is a residential community in Brownsville, Brooklyn providing supportive housing and on-site services for low-income and formerly homeless individuals. One of the first projects developed under Breaking Ground’s (formerly Common Ground Community’s) Green Campaign, the LEED Silver certified development emphasizes good health and indoor air quality, restorative and biophilic design, and best practices to lower tenant’s energy costs.
Addressing the local architectural context as well as its natural environment, the six story building respects the surrounding neighborhood with its restrained planning, height, and massing. By encouraging restorative connections to nature, the building provides a comfortable, high quality living environment. Views to green space and natural daylight are prioritized, even in below-grade office spaces, and an inner courtyard provides protected green space with room for urban agriculture. Overhead, 3,400 square feet of greenery on the roof cools the building and slows stormwater run-off from the site. The building utilizes an energy efficient, super-insulated envelope, rooftop solar panels for on-site power generation, and ultra-high efficiency condensing boilers and hydronic heating. Individual units are finished with durable, non-toxic materials and Energy Star rated appliances.
The Hegeman is a masonry bearing wall and concrete plank structure using brick masonry as a noble unitized façade material. Resourceful techniques add depth and articulation to the brick face, encouraging light and shadows to play over its surface. This thoughtful yet economical masonry detailing yields a minimal, elegant façade of a quality uncommon in affordable housing.