In the wake of the Albanese Organization’s Verdesian rental building achieving LEED Platinum last month, we thought it would be a good time to check in with the Visionaire, Albanese’s next foray into sustainable living at Battery Park City. A 33-story condominium tower designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli, which also served as architect at the Verdesian and Albanese’s LEED Gold Solaire rental building on the north end of Battery Park, the Verdesian’s 251 units were 40 percent sold as of this past October.
The 500,000-square-foot project is aiming for a LEED Platinum rating and should be ready for occupancy later this year. The curving, sail-like façade of the tower, which is located on the southern end of Battery Park at 70 Little West Street, faces the Hudson River and provides for water views in every unit. The Starwood Capital Group serves as Albanese’s joint venture partner in the $310 million effort. In its pursuit of Platinum, the Visionaire will offer residents a broad range of green design features. A building-integrated photovoltaic system provides 48 kW of electricity, and 35 percent of the building’s electric load will be sourced from Green-e certified renewable energy sources. Turner Construction, which is serving as the project’s general contractor, will recycle over 85 percent of construction waste, as well as ensure that all construction materials contain a minimum of 20 percent recycled content, while 50 percent of all materials will be sourced within a 500 mile radius.
According to Rafael Pelli, the Visionaire offers green improvements over the Solaire in two significant ways: its curtain wall (i.e., the building’s glass exterior) and the extent of individualized control over building systems. For example, a single master switch at the entrance to each unit allows residents to simultaneously turn off lights in every room, and units are also set up for automated control of window shades. The low-E curtain wall provides improved insulation and a tighter envelope than the Solaire’s, which should provide for an improved heat loss ratio and interaction with the natural elements.