Developer Charles Fridman filed plans last week for a 26-story hotel at the corner of Varick and Watt Streets that would incorporate a malleable, thin-film solar panel glazing to the building’s exterior. The glazing, which has been dubbed “amorphous thin film glass,” would generate an estimated 80 to 100 kilowatts of electricity, which should translate into $40,000.00 to $50,000.00 in energy savings annually. Mr. Fridman has retained Anthony Morali of MStudio as the project’s architect; MStudio plans on incorporating a number of other unspecified green design features into the project, though it’s unclear at this point whether 100 Varick Street will pursue any third-party certification.
Mr. Morali told the New York Observer that the photovoltaic technology is applied as a gas to the glazing, which allows the glass itself to be much thinner (and malleable) than conventional glass. The installation at 100 Varick Street would be the first time the technology is employed here in New York City (the Observer does note that a similar type of installation encloses rooftop mechanical systems at the Conde-Nast Building in Times Square). As always, we’ll have more details as the project moves forward, which, according to Mr. Fridman, won’t be for at least another six months while permits and other approvals are procured from the Department of Buildings.