New Housing New York Legacy Project Winners to Seek LEED Gold for Affordable South Bronx Development

The New Housing New York Legacy Project, a joint effort between the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the New York Chapter of the AIA, announced the winner of its first design competition for affordable and sustainable housing back on January 17th. The competition is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing [...]

The New Housing New York Legacy Project, a joint effort between the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the New York Chapter of the AIA, announced the winner of its first design competition for affordable and sustainable housing back on January 17th. The competition is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, which aims to construct and maintain 165,000 affordable housing units before 2013.

Developed in cooperation by The Phipps Houses Group and The Jonathan Rose Companies with Dattner Architects and Grimshaw Architects, the winning proposal, called Via Verde (image from NHNY above), will contain 202 residential units, parking, and community retail space on a formerly vacant 60,000 square foot lot at 156th Street and Brook Avenue in the south Bronx. The development is conceived as a series of buildings, including an eighteen story tower and townhouses. Each structure will be linked by a series of gardens beginning at ground level, which will collect rainwater and allow residents to harvest various fruits and vegetables. These gardens spiral as a promenade, up around the main courtyard of the project, ultimately reaching a sky terrace with views of Manhattan.

Other green features will include a 52,000 square foot green roof, sun screens shading the south and west facades, high performance windows, and mechanical systems allowing for heating and cooling control for each individual unit. A mid-2008 groundbreaking is expected and the project will apply for LEED Gold certification.

The New Housing New York Legacy Project was introduced in June of 2006 at the Center for Architecture. A design jury, which included Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr., whittled thirty-two developer/architect teams down to five back in September. Invited to submit full proposals, the finalists each received funding from NYSERDA (the New York State Energy Research Development Authority) in order to do so. Each of the five proposals will be on display at the Center for Architecture from March 22 through June 16.

Lots of fascinating green projects are in the works right now in New York City that, while perhaps not as sexy as those in Times Square or along Eighth Avenue, are just as compelling from a sustainability perspective. In looking back over some of my recent posts, it strikes me that, thus far in 2007, I’ve been writing less about commercial high rises and more about esoteric green projects (The Queens Botanical Garden and various New Jersey industrial buildings, for example). The fact that there are an increasing number of these projects throughout the New York City region is a positive sign for green building and, perhaps, demonstrative of diverse owners’ acceptance of, and demand for, green design elements regardless of project type.

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