Breaking new ground

Ground was broken on Tuesday morning for the first phase of netZero Village, a six-building complex with 72 apartments in Rotterdam. The project, developed by Bruns Realty Group LLC owner David Bruns, is expected to produce as much or more energy than it uses, with high-efficiency appliances and heating and cooling systems, airtight insulation, a heat recovery ventilator, solar panels and a design intended to foster passive solar heating.

A second phase will add seven more buildings, plus a clubhouse, an athletic field, walking trails and community gardens, according to the developer.

Phase I is set for completion by June. Rents range from $1,195 for a one-bedroom apartment to $1,435 for an apartment with two bedrooms and a study. Sizes will be from 790 to 1,093 square feet.

Total cost of both phases — which will total 156 apartments — is $20 million, with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority providing support through its Low-Rise Residential New Construction Program, the NY-Sun Incentive Program and the Solar Thermal (Hot Water) program. That assistance, totaling $2.1 million, is contingent on the project meeting specific milestones throughout construction.

“NetZero Village combines energy-efficient construction and clean, renewable solar energy generation in a model that we hope to see from many more developers in the coming years,” said John B. Rhodes, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “As Governor Cuomo leads the state toward development of clean, reliable, resilient, affordable energy systems, net zero buildings can have significant impact on helping the state reach its energy goals.”