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NYC Administration for Childrens Services

A Green Municipal Building in New York, NY.

  • 492 First Avenue, NYC’s new Children’s Intake Center, provides a good example of the synergies inherent in urban green design, where the values of old buildings often mesh well with sustainable design. Thus, saving and reusing this stately 1901 landmark by McKim, Mead and White greatly reduced the energy and materials needed for construction while diverting demolition debris from landfills. Like many NYC buildings, its closeness to mass transit reduces dependence on cars. And, since the building was designed before electric lighting was widely used, the building incorporates traditional, passive strategies for daylighting – narrow floor plates, high ceilings, and large, tall windows. Because of this, the new design captures lots of natural light, improving the quality of life, and reducing the energy consumed by artificial lighting, which is, surprisingly, half the energy consumed by this building type.

    Also, New York City, through its Office of Sustainable Design at the DDC, looks for matches between the goals of its agencies and green strategies. The Agency for Children’s Services placed a premium on good indoor air quality, given the chemical sensitivities of many of the children it services, so the design uses strategies like use of low VOC products, increased air changes, and cleaner fresh air intake. Also, the use of natural materials, such as maple and cork, results in a less institutional quality, another advantage for an agency working with children.

    Finally, New York looks to utilize green strategies that improve the air and water quality of the city as a whole and that help with the city’s long-term finances. The building uses numerous cost-effective strategies, such as an improved thermal envelope, highly efficient technologies, and the use of ConEd’s waste heat, to reduce the energy used by the building and the air pollution created by it. Similarly, the use of low-flow fixtures reduces the city’s demand on its reservoirs and its sewage treatment facilities.
  • 492 First Ave., between 29th and 30th Streets.Closest subway: #6 @ 28th and Madison.
  • Construction year
  • 2001
  • Size in sq. ft.
  • 136000
  • No. floors
  • 7
  • Green Energy Features
  • Co-Generation
    Heat Recovery Ventilation
  • Energy Efficiency Features
  • High-performance Windows
    CO2 Monitoring
    Occupancy-sensing lighting
    Zoned HVAC
    Compact Fluorescent Lights
  • Green Products
  • Low-VOC Paints and Adhesives
    Recycled/Recyclable floor covering
    Natural floor covering
  • Water Conservation Features
  • Low-flow fixtures
  • Transportation
  • Public Transport Access
  • Window brand
  • Aluminum, low-E, argon-filled, with thermal breaks
  • Amount and type of insulation
  • Wall insulation: Cementitious by AirKrete w/ R-20
  • Type of building (home, school, commercial, etc.)
  • Institutional
  • Designer
  • Richard Dattner & Partners Architects PC
  • Builder
  • CM: Kreisler Borg Florman
  • Construction or renovation cost
  • $64 million
  • Building Style
  • Beaux-Arts Italianate
  • Fuel Type
  • District steam
  • Annual heating fuel consumption
  • 65,000 BTUs
  • Annual electricity use
  • 150,000 BTUs