The Glassport Retirement Residence project is the transformation of a vacant historic school into a senior living, Passive House-certified, mixed-income community. The project includes the adaptive reuse of the former Glassport Elementary School (ca 1929) and a new wing to accommodate 55 one- and two-bedroom units of affordable senior housing. Both the new and retrofitted portions of the building are built to the rigorous Passive House standard, making the project a model of healthy living, energy efficiency, and environmentally sustainable design.
The development, designed in collaboration with NK Architects, brings a unique focus to the health and well-being of the residents, the history of Glassport, and the school itself. A healing garden near the entrance of the building connects residents with restorative elements of plants, sky, and nature. The large site also includes edible landscaping, including an asparagus bed, blueberries, raspberries, and apple trees. Raised beds contain vegetable gardens during the summer months, and storm-water captured in bio-swales contributes to the feeling of lush plantings around the site. Artifacts and exhibits featuring the history of the school and Glassport are woven throughout the project.