GRO Green: Carpenter Residence Brings Modern Prefab to Jersey City

Conceived by GRO Architects to be both energy-efficient and cost-effective, the house was built with 18 prefabricated insulated concrete panels.

GRO - Carpenter Residence

The December/January issue of Dwell profiles the Carpenter Residence, designed by New York City-based GRO Architects. Conceived to be both energy-efficient and cost-effective, the house was built with 18 prefabricated insulated concrete panels and sits on a 1300-square-foot lot in emerging neighborhood in Jersey City which owner Denis Carpenter purchased for $45,000.

Back in 2006, Mr. Carpenter asked the New Jersey chapter of the AIA whether there was an architect willing – and able – to design the house inside of his $250,000 budget; the Carpenter Residence’s final construction costs checked in at $252,000.

Radiant heating coils underneath the concrete basement floor and bamboo main floor heat the house in the winter; there is no air conditioning system, but there are cooling fans throughout. The house boasts a green roof and its pitched roof also includes an $8,000, 260-square-foot solar array, which Carpenter estimates should pay for itself within five years. Cedar screens on the front and back of the house play down the architects’ use of concrete and allow the Carpenter Residence to blend into its surroundings. Access to the Hudson-Bergen light rail system is just a few blocks away.

Dwell notes that GRO has “come to see the house as a model for urban infill redevelopment – a system that can be ‘mass customized’ for specific settings while leveraging the cost savings that go along with the use of prefabricated components.”

About Stephen Del Percio

Stephen Del Percio has written for gbNYC+ since 2006 and currently serves as in-house counsel for one of the world's largest engineering, construction, and technical services companies. He earned a B.Eng. from Columbia, his J.D. at William & Mary, and lives in New York City with his wife and daughter. You can follow Stephen on Twitter, email him at, or join gbNYC on Facebook to continue the conversation.

about gbNYC

gbNYC is a multi-disciplinary consulting and real estate services firm. In addition to representing office tenants and commercial buyers in leasing and acquisitions, we also provide innovative consulting solutions from a unique, green building perspective. We advise on green building financial incentives, comment on proposed green building marketing strategies, author white papers, treatises, and market analyses, organize seminars on the LEED process and professional accreditation, and provide advice and analysis on green building risk management and the overall state of green real estate, leasing, and construction, in New York City and beyond.

Our blog, the gbNYC+ journal of real estate, law, + sustainability, delivers consistent, original content - from a New York City perspective - on how technology, data, and sustainability are changing how we interact with our built environment. Subscribe below and receive new articles as they're published or connect with our social media presence to join our ongoing conversation about real estate and sustainability, in the Big Apple and beyond. Contact us at (201) 835-8530 or for more information about our services and to discuss how we can assist you.

, , , , , ,

3 Responses to GRO Green: Carpenter Residence Brings Modern Prefab to Jersey City

  1. Alex Cortez Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 12:56 am #

    Aloha Stephen, thanks for sharing this story. I lived in Weehawken (near Jersey City) for many years and can say that having this type of ‘green’ mentality could certainly have a huge impact in the region.

    • Stephen Del Percio Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

      Thanks for the comment, Alex. We like GRO’s concept to use the design as a model for other similar projects in urban locations, so it will be interesting to see whether that happens in Jersey City or elsewhere.


  1. Green Architecture – Is This Our Future » Green Roofing Improvement - Wednesday, October 2, 2013

    [...] Jersey City has a modern prefab home construction. A resident, asked a local architect if he could create a prefab green home for about $250,00. The architect estimated at $252,000. Mr. Carpenter, the resident, had his home created out of 18 insulated concrete panels. He has cedar on the front of his home to blend in with the rest of the neighborhood. The architect used radiant heating coils under the concrete basement floor and the upstairs bamboo flooring. He has a green roof that is pitched to collect solar energy. This home has the potential for mass customization in similar neighborhoods… Jersey City dwelling [...]

gbNYC Tenant Resources Feature

tenant resources

The commercial office leasing process is complicated. And so is figuring out where to start your search for office space in New York City. gbNYC's tenant resources - from our blog and leasing FAQ to our unwavering dedication to our clients and commercial real estate - can help you get the best possible deal for your next office, in the best location, and at the best price.
gbNYC Submarket Feature


New York City is a big place, and figuring out the most suitable location for your office can seem like an insurmountable challenge. Our submarket guide demystifies Gotham's dizzying range of neighborhoods with profiles, articles, new developments, and recent leasing statistics like average asking rents and vacancy rates.
gbNYC Database Feature

office database

We've built a database of the best commercial properties in New York City, focused on LEED-certified, Energy Star-labeled, and historic office buildings. Search for your ideal office building by location, certification, size, or owner. Then contact us to discuss current availabilities and your specific office needs.