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ChiefJoJo

Columbia Street Annex in Chapel Hill

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Here's the article. This would be one of the first zero-carbon footprint buildings in the nation, and certainly the first in NC.

Local designer and developer Phil Szostak, who is building the Durham Performing Arts Center, has proposed what would be one of the nation's first zero-carbon developments at Chapel Hill's southern gateway.

Located at the intersection of N.C. 54 and South Columbia Street across from Merritt's Store, the six-story "Columbia Street Annex" would have 32 apartments and 12,000 square feet of shops and offices. Szostak's "zero-carbon" complex would use exclusively local, nonpolluting and renewable energy sources such as solar, geothermal or wind.

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Like the Greenbridge partners, Szostak is proposing solar power and rooftop gardens. With nearly three times as much land to work with, Szostak is also planning a geothermal system that would use stable underground temperatures to draw heat in the winter and expel heat in the summer, a technology that Greenbridge found incompatible with its underground parking garage. Plus, Szostak wants to power his ventilation system with wind.

It appears there are issues with a proposed stream buffer (state requires 150ft for perennial streams this one is only 60 ft from the proposed bldg) and the DOT's planned inclusion of bike lanes on S. Columbia St back up towards campus, which are both critical to the project's success.

I'm thinking this is just north of the NC54 Bypass on S Columbia as it begins to rise up the hill towards UNC Hospital.

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It will be interesting to follow this one. There are a handful of zero-energy single family houses in the country, but hardly anything of this scale that has already been built and achieves this goal. Part of the challenge in doing this with apartments is that low energy living is (in part) a lifestyle, and tenants will need to be conscious of their usages.

Phil Szostak is one of the better architects in the area in terms of design and (obviously, from this) in terms of environmentalism. Have you seen his designs for the new Durham Performing Arts Center? It should be a very interesting building.

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Will be interesting to see. This site would be at the NW corner of the Bypass-S Columbia interchange; Merritt's Store and Purefoy Rd are right across Columbia. It's a very steep site, certainly very expensive to build anything on, which would definitely impact what's actually inside the project. The location is fantastic however - downtown, med school, S Village are all very close.

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