Project Info

Gloria Casarez Residence
1315 North 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Sustainable New Development or Renovation
Affordable Supportive Multifamily Residential

Project Team

Architect/Designer: Thriven Design
Contractor: Domus Construction, Inc.
Engineer: Thriven Design
Owner: Project HOME

Project Description

The first of its kind in Pennsylvania, and among the first of its kind nationwide, Project HOME’s Gloria Casarez Residence provides LGBTQ-friendly housing for at-risk young adults who are aging out of foster care, are formerly homeless, or at-risk of becoming
homeless. Approximately 40 percent of homeless young adults identify as LGBTQ, and the Gloria Casarez Residence honors the legacy of civil rights leader and LGBTQ activist Gloria Casarez by providing supportive housing and resources designed to help residents aged 18 to 24 achieve their long-term goals of permanent housing, education, and employment.

Thriven Design provided architecture, interior design, MEP engineering, fire protection engineering, LEED Administration and Certification services for the project, which transformed an underused 0.65-acre parking lot into a 30-bedroom, four-story supportive residence. The Gloria Casarez Residence site was remediated from previous “brownfield” contamination based on its historical uses as a tool works and for automotive repairs. Design and construction emphasized sustainability, and the project met or exceeded numerous environmental goals:

  • 45% reduction in water use over code-minimums using high-efficiency fixtures, centralized water heaters, and insulated piping 
  • 21% reduction in energy use over code-minimums using high-efficiency HVAC systems “right-sized” for the size of the apartments, along with upgraded building envelope, air-sealing, high-efficiency lighting, and Energy Star appliances. 
  • 90% of construction waste was recycled.
  • 93% of the occupied building includes views of the outdoors via large glazed areas throughout the building. 
  • More than 50% of the site hardscape has shading, high reflectance, and/or open-grid paving, reducing the heat-island effect around the building.
  • All adhesives and sealants used inside the building meet the VOC limits of the CA Department of Health Services Standard for VOC Emissions.
  • All flooring meets CRI Green Label Plus, FloorScore, or CA Dept of Health Services Section 01350 requirements for healthy indoor air quality. 
  • 100% of the roof area was covered with high-reflectance roofing membrane or vegetated roof system, reducing heat gain on the building itself as well as in the surrounding community.

The project also sought to connect residents with greenspace, which led to a design that included a private courtyard, water-conscious landscaping, and a south-facing roof deck. Inside the residence, each secure, private one-bedroom apartment includes a living area, full-size eat-in kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and storage space. Shared amenities for the site include on-site management office, residential services suite with computer area, mailroom, laundry room, exercise room, maintenance storage, bike storage room, and a large community room with kitchenette. The site is adjacent to single-family rowhomes on the north and east sides, with scattered commercial uses nearby. Temple University’s campus is within walking distance to the site, as are multiple transit options, providing residents with access to employment opportunities and community resources citywide. In 2019, construction began on an expansion to the Gloria Casarez Residence, a second adjoining affordable supportive community: Peg’s Place. Thriven Design provided architecture, engineering, and interior design services for this phase, as well, which was completed in September, 2021