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Bedford Green House encourages affordable green living with rooftop fish and produce garden

Bedford Green House in the Bronx will have 118 units to house more than 160 residents and features a rooftop aquaponics greenhouse.

Like many new buildings being built in New York City, Bedford Green House in the Bronx will be energy efficient with an environmentally friendly design. But thanks to a rooftop aquaponics greenhouse, it will also encourage its residents to try their hand at urban farming.

Breaking ground today, the 13-story, 118-unit Bedford Green House in Bedford Park will be home to more than 160 residents. The supportive and affordable housing development will cost $56.8 million and was spearheaded by Project Renewal. Gov. Andrew Cuomo awarded $6.2 million in funding for the project through the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s Homeless Housing and Assistance Program in February. 

“Throughout our 50-year history, Project Renewal has provided innovative programs to help New Yorkers in need,” President and CEO Mitchell Netburn said in a statement. “We will continue to do that at Bedford Green House with comprehensive services and cutting-edge features like aquaponics to ensure that residents can lead healthy, stable lives.”

The aquaponics greenhouse will enable residents to grow produce and raise fish such as tilapia. And since the growing platforms are able to be vertically stacked, the residents will be able to grow more produce than they would with traditional soil farming methods. 

Residents will also be able to work with Project Renewal’s horticultural therapist to grown their own food all year round. Additionally, chefs from the nonprofit’s Culinary Arts Training Program will teach healthy cooking classes in the rooftop greenhouse’s demo kitchen for residents and their neighbors in the community.

Resident’s exposure to green living will carry throughout Bedford Green House, as the lobby and exterior façade will feature cascading plants, vines and green walls. The vines will be both aesthetic and functional as they’ll absorb solar radiation in the summer and then allow it to warm the building when they shed their leaves in winter, thus reducing the building’s energy usage.

Bedford Green House will also offer public art, a community playground that includes slides, a jungle gym, musical instruments and a water fountain as well as landscaped space for yoga, exercise and mindfulness classes. 

The building is expected to open by the end of 2019.