Ahead of this year’s upcoming Earth Day in April, we are taking a closer look at how developers are embracing fully-integrated ways to approach sustainability, from new innovative materials that neutralize pollution to an urban residential farm with an apiary which hosts its own local farmer’s market.
While the European Commission has outlined its low-carbon economy roadmap, cutting emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, the US has shown a recent trend of backing away from eco initiatives such as withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, imposing tariffs on solar panels, etc. However, a number of boutique real estate developers, outlined below, are independently pursuing sustainable projects and practices as a result of either company culture/identity and consumer demand.
Boutique luxury condominium in Hudson Square, 570 Broome, is the first condo in the United States to incorporate a new eco-friendly facade material. This material is the result of a partnership between Neolith sintered stone and Pureti surface treatment – which officially debuted this past Fall 2017.
Pureti is an aqueous and titanium dioxide nanoparticle based treatment, which breaks down contaminates through a photocatalytic process, essentially harnessing light energy to transform nitrogen dioxide particles (pollutants) into neutral minerals and water vapor. Each m2 of this Neolith x Pureti facade material equates to taking a car off the road for an entire year. The end result for 570 Broome (which is 25-stories) is the purifying power of 500 trees (or taking 2,000 cars off the road for a year).
12 Warren in TriBeCa includes several sustainable elements including a storm-water collection and reuse system, and heat island effect reduction by using concrete, light grey toned pavers and landscaping elements. The project discourages construction waste by tracking discard and reusing demolished materials while integrating local and regional materials including its eye-catching facade, comprised of rough-hewn bluestone quarried in upstate New York.
Located on the North Shore waterfront, Staten Island Urby features the first commercial farm to be incorporated into an urban residential development. The 5,000 square foot space includes a farmer-in-residence, Zaro Bates, who offers workshops to the community and residents including a fermentation series, grow your own herbs and micro greens and bee keeping workshops within the farm’s apiary. The produce is then sold at Urby’s own farmer’s market on the weekends, held on premises.
Tucked away in Manhattan’s West Chelsea neighborhood, Jardim is the first U.S. residential development by Isay Weinfeld, the world-renowned Brazilian architect and interior designer known for his hotels and high-end homes, including the Fasano Hotels and the forthcoming reincarnation of New York’s iconic Four Seasons restaurant.
The Portuguese word for garden – Jardim – is a fitting name for this plant-filled property, which boasts an ultra-private urban park that envelops the two 11-story towers that comprise the development. A canopy of native evergreens and fragrant flowering trees soars above clusters of indigenous shrubs, while intimate lounge areas are nestled within thickets of native ferns and grasses, along with layered plantings of long-blooming perennials. At Jardim, Weinfeld has successfully integrated plant life, creating desirable green space in a historically industrial neighborhood.
Image Credit: VUW Studio