The Solaire

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New York, New York, USA
375,000 square feet / 34,000 square meters
2008

This 27-story apartment building in Battery Park City is the first green residential high-rise in the United States. Sustainable design features developed for this building were refined for the Visionaire and the Verdesian, subsequent residential towers Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects designed for Battery Park City.

The Solaire uses 35 percent less energy than required by New York State energy codes and includes such features as occupancy sensor systems for both lighting and climate control. Building-integrated photovoltaics create up to 5 percent of the base-building electricity, supplying lighting for hallways and other common areas. Each apartment includes programmable digital thermostats, Energy Star fixtures, and a master shut-off switch.

The building treats and reuses its own water for use in toilets and in the cooling tower, which reduces the use of potable water by 38 percent. Roof-top gardens reduce storm water runoff by 50 percent. Residents also enjoy high air quality and maximum daylight. Each of the building’s 293 units receives filtered, humidified air. The building’s advanced HVAC system is fueled by natural gas and free of ozone-depleting refrigerants.

Building materials with high recycled content and low or no VOCs were used and a significant number of the materials were manufactured within 500 miles of New York City. Wood and bamboo for paneling and cabinetry in the apartments are sustainably harvested and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. More than 93 percent of the building’s construction waste was recycled.

The building was the first residential tower to attain a Gold LEED rating and was selected as an AIA Top Ten Green Project for 2004. The Solaire is one of the first buildings to receive funding under the New York State Green Building Tax Credit. It was also chosen by the United States Department of Energy to represent the United in the 2002 Green Building Challenge, an international conference on sustainable technology.