Spring 09 Tour Recap: Brooklyn & Queens Green Buildings via Bus

May 18, 2009

GreenHomeNYC’s Spring 2009 Green Buildings open house tours took place in early May, by bus and bike in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. Thanks to GreenHomeNYC volunteer Danial Rushton for this description of the day — The Brooklyn bus tour visited three fantastic Brooklyn sites as well as the highly praised Queens Botanical Gardens.
Exterior of 429 Metropolitan Avenue. Photo: Danial Rushton.

Exterior of 429 Metropolitan Avenue.

We started our tour at the Atlantic Terrace, a former brownfield that’s being transformed into a new LEED certified, 80-unit mixed-income mixed-use project. The project will include environmentally sustainable systems such as a centrally powered heat pump, heat recapture, and storm water management systems. It will also incorporate green materials such as bamboo flooring and cabinets and recycled glass and concrete countertops. The building is a fantastic example of the possibilities that green building can offer to a neighborhood. What was once a blight on the area is now providing affordable green housing to the community. Read on after the jump! The next stop on our tour was Williamsburg’s 429 Metropolitan Avenue, a beautiful new multi-use development. The architect, Mark Helder, stated that his plan was to design a cutting-edge building that would make the site as green as he possibly could. Its features include a highly insulated enclosure, radiant floor heating, an efficient condensing boiler, continuous whole-house ventilation that includes a heat recovery system, and private photo voltaic solar panel arrays for each unit. This is a great example of packing a lot of green features into a very small space.
Queens Botanic Garden Visitor and Administration Center. Photo: Danial Rushton

Queens Botanic Garden Visitor and Administration Center.

From there we visited the Queens Botanical Gardens for a delicious picnic lunch and a visit to their LEED Platinum rated Visitor and Administration Center. The Center has an impressive array of green features including photovoltaic panels, recycled gray water, and geothermal energy for heating and cooling. Further, it manages 100% of storm water on-site, houses composting toilets, mitigates the heat island effect with a 3,000 sq ft green roof , and incorporates over 800 native plant species to create a sustainable landscape that is representative of New York regional habitats.
Green roof of the Queens Botanic Garden Visitor and Administration Center. Photo: Danial Rushton

Green roof of the Queens Botanic Garden Visitor and Administration Center.

On our return home to Brooklyn we viewed the Sterling Green, an apartment building in Prospect Heights which is focused on creating green living spaces without breaking the bank. The structure’s high performance features include custom energy-efficient oversized low-E windows, ultra efficient tankless hot water heaters, low-VOC paint throughout, dual flush toilets, EnergyStar appliances, wind-powered common areas, vertical strand bamboo flooring and sustainable kitchen cabinetry. It is a very welcome addition to the neighborhood.