Work begins on world’s first ‘green’ high rise apartment block

Construction work has begun on a futuristic apartment block in New York, which will be the world’s first ‘green’ high-rise residential building according to its developers.

The $110 million, 27 story, energy-efficient building is on River Terrace, in Battery Park City on the South Western tip of Manhattan Island, providing its residents with views of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Battery Park City is built on a 92 acre former landfill, adjacent to the World Trade Centre and the Wall Street financial district. The building is being constructed in accordance with Battery Park City Authority’s ‘Green Guidelines’ requiring advanced environmental technologies for all future development in the City.

“This extraordinary new building on the shores of the Hudson sends a message to the world that economic growth and environmental protection go hand-in-hand in New York State,” said New York Governor George E Pataki, who led the ground-breaking ceremony at the site where the building will be constructed. “This new ‘green’ building represents smart economic development that will benefit New Yorkers, and signals our continuing commitment to a cleaner environment and a healthy economy for generations to come.”

‘Green’ apartment buildings are also planned for two further sites in the area. All three will combine environmentally advanced engineering techniques featuring:

  • on site storage, filtering and recycling of waste water to supply flush water for toilets and other maintenance functions;
  • photovoltaic panels for generating electric power to provide at least 5% of base building electric load, with space allocated for the future use of fuel cells;
  • collection of storm water from the roof in storage tanks, and plumbing fixtures that use 10% less water than required by the Energy Policy Act of 1992;
  • energy strategies that are 35% more efficient than New York State standards, which are already high, a spokesperson for the project told edie, including dimmable and motion-detector controlled lighting low-E glazing – which allows in less solar radiation, reducing the need for cooling; high efficiency insulation; 30% more natural light; and energy-efficiency appliances;
  • enclosed storage for bicycles;
  • high use of construction materials with recycled content, with at least 60% recycling of construction waste;
  • efficient heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and outdoor air is filtered, with 85% of particulates removed.

“The ‘green’ high-rise building that will grow at 20 River Terrace will produce energy with photo-voltaic panels, and save energy with high-efficiency natural gas-fired appliances, Energy Star appliances and advanced technology, lighting and windows,” said Timothy S Cary, President of the Battery Park City Authority. “In order to show that a market exists for ‘green’ buildings, we have to demonstrate that building ‘green’ makes sense. The lessons we learn, and the example we set, at 20 River Terrace will revolutionise both residential and commercial development around the world.”

“This building will introduce a new tier of choice in residence: one in which New Yorkers can select their home on the basis of issues such as air quality, energy efficiency and abundant natural light while also enjoying premium lifestyle amenities such as river views, a fully-equipped fitness centre, on-site valet parking, access to recreation and cultural events and convenient commutes to work.”

In January 2000, Governor Pataki proposed a Green Buildings tax credit – the first of its kind in the country – designed to encourage the construction and rehabilitation of environmentally-sound buildings by providing a credit for the development of eco-friendly buildings. The tax credit became effective as of 1 January this year. The legislation will provide $25 million in tax savings and promote improved environmental standards, increase energy efficiency, and create awareness of new sustainable technologies.

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