Green Condos Under Construction at 100 Gold Street in Vinegar Hill

The first green residential building in Brooklyn’s Vinegar Hill neighborhood will offer 10 condo units across 5 stories but – it appears – will not seek LEED certification for its efforts.

100 Gold Street is touting itself as the first green residential building in Brooklyn’s Vinegar Hill neighborhood. Designed and developed Anthony Morena’s REDD Group, the 5-story, 10-unit condominium development is currently under construction just a few blocks east of the Manhattan Bridge and is incorporating a variety of sustainable design features.

9-foot windows will provide ample natural daylight and Manhattan views for residents; gas-fired, wall-hung boilers in each unit should save up to 40 percent on heating costs. Recycled glass tile will be used for backsplashes in each kitchen and zero-VOC paints throughout are being supplied by Brooklyn-based Ivy Coatings. Other materials sourced locally include recycled-content roof pavers manufactured by Saugerties-based Unity Creations and hand-blown light fixtures by Beacon-based Niche Modern. Green features will also include on-site bicycle storage, dual flush toilets, and compact fluorescent lights throughout. REDD also intends to purchase renewable energy credits to offset the building’s projected energy consumption during its first year of operation.

Note that the project does not appear to be seeking any third-party certification for its green efforts. According to Browstoner, REDD paid $800,000.00 for the property back in 2008; the site was formerly occupied by some sort of dilapated old house. This is the second green boutique condominium project in Brooklyn that we’ve noted in the past week here at gbNYC that is not seeking third-party certification; although Aspen Equities has dubbed its 580 Sterling Place project “seriously green” it is similarly not seeking a LEED or other rating for its 5-story, 8-unit development in Prospect Heights.

I’m curious about the decision-making process for each of these two developers in opting to market their projects as “green” and “eco-friendly” rather than pursuing formal certification and applying the LEED brand to their marketing materials. For Aspen Equities, with 2 out of 8 units under contract at 580 Sterling Place already, it may have no reason to look back. Regardless, it will be interesting and instructive to note if this becomes a pattern with smaller projects as we continue to move forward here in 2009.

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2 Responses to Green Condos Under Construction at 100 Gold Street in Vinegar Hill

  1. Condo Association Management Blog Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 1:17 pm #

    Does your Condo Association have a strategy to go green?

    If you live in an older condo building the answer is most likely no, but that can change quickly after understanding a number of fairly easy to implement green initiatives found on the EPA’s Energy Star website. No one expects the condo association an older residential building to go 100% green tomorrow, but there a many small steps that can make your building more energy efficient and a healthier place to live right now. Here are some ideas for condo associations boards and property managers.

    A Condo Association Can Do a Energy Self-Audit On Their Condo Building

    Energy Star has a self evaluation tool called the Home Energy Yardstick, which helps you determine the overall energy efficiency of your property. It works well and actually only takes about 5 minutes, like the website claims. Although it’s intended for a single family property, you can make it work for your condo building by calculating an average condo unit, then extrapolating the information to meet the size of your condo building.

    It’s a quick and useful calculation of your energy usage, and requires some knowledge of your energy usage over the past year (which will be on your monthly bill), so just make sure you have your energy bills for handy before you get started.

    Install Energy Efficient Light Bulbs or Fixtures On Your HOA Property

    Replacing old light bulbs with Energy Efficient Light Bulbs is a no-brainer. There are a host of Energy Star rated light bulbs that are a little more expensive than your traditional light bulbs, but they should last for a very long time. According to the EPA, “ENERGY STAR qualified lighting provides bright, warm light but uses about 75% less energy than standard lighting, produces 75% less heat, and lasts up to 10 times longer.”

    Seal the Windows and Doors In Your Condo Association’s Building

    Energy Star estimates that a homeowners associations “….can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% on their total annual energy bill) by sealing and insulating.” If you live in an older building, it can be much higher percentage than this. Our building is over 80 years old and when I moved in the building, I could feel a breeze with the window shut. We sealed the windows and felt an enormous difference. The sealing of windows and doors should be high on your green priority list. Here is a link to educate you to the impact of air leaks in the envelope of your condo building.

    Switch Your Condo Association from Oil to a Gas Burner

    We switched to a gas burner two years ago and our energy bill dropped about 15% per annum over the past two year. Old oil burners are grossly inefficient – emitting more pollution because they don’t have modern controls standard today on new boilers. Due to its size, our old oil burner needed its own room in the basement. Our new gas boiler is smaller than a footlocker and was mounted to our wall, rendering the room pretty much empty.

    There are many other green initiatives you can take, but these few that I mentioned are certainly worth looking at today.

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