The Verdesian

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New York, New York, USA
293,000 square feet / 27,000 square meters
2006

The Verdesian is the first residential high rise to attain a Platinum LEED rating, the highest ranking for sustainable design from the U.S. Green Building Council. The 24-story, 253-unit apartment tower is adjacent to Teardrop Park in Battery Park City, a planned community in lower Manhattan. The neighborhood is also home to Solaire, designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects as the world’s first green residential high-rise building. Many of the Solaire’s innovations in sustainable design were improved upon for the Verdesian.

The Verdesian was designed under strict guidelines that specified materials and a massing strategy. The building’s design takes inspiration from elements of downtown Manhattan architecture, such as the brick and fenestration patterns found in the buildings of Tribeca and Soho. The façade incorporates red brick, saw-cut bluestone, zinc, and—to recall the lightness of many turn-of-the-century downtown buildings—a large glass surface. The use of open corners gives the building a more modern appearance. 

Chief among the Verdesian’s many environmental features is an HVAC system that brings fresh air into each apartment. The system exceeds New York City energy efficiency standards by almost 40 percent. The building also saves energy by capturing enough heat to provide for all of its hot water needs. Overall, the building lowers peak electric demand by 65 percent.

Like the Solaire, the Verdesian has air filtration systems that optimize indoor air quality. Using finishes that contain little or no volatile organic compounds helps maintain this quality. Construction and finishing materials with a high-recycled content were used throughout.

The Verdesian is linked to the Solaire’s blackwater treatment plant, which recycles water from bathrooms and kitchens for use in toilets and the cooling tower. The building also harvests rainwater and can store 10,000 gallons of recycled water for irrigation of the rooftop garden.