Resident satisfaction is high, according to Michael Gubbins, senior vice president at the Albanese Organization, which built and manages Visionaire (see the original case study published in GreenSource's November 2009 issue). To back up that claim, Gubbins cites independent surveys by Kingsley Associates in which the Visionaire "has consistently ranked in the 90th percentile compared to similar buildings around the country." The building scored well above average in overall customer satisfaction, quality of life, security, and environmental factors. Among the reasons for that high satisfaction are shared amenities like the rooftop patio, which is heavily used in warmer months. An herb garden for tenant use was just added to the roof as well.
Location New York, NY (Hudson River watershed)
Gross area 472,000 ft2 (43,849 m2)
Cost $207 million
Completed August 2008
Program Residential condominium units, roof decks, pool, spa, gym, children's playroom, local and organic green grocery
TEAM & SOURCES
Architects Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects; Schuman Lichtenstein Claman Efron Architects (associate)
Owner Albanese Organization
Environmental consultant Atelier Ten
The Visionaire, designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, is the first high rise apartment building to receive LEED Platinum certification.
View more Greensource videos
Air quality is a big selling point in all three of Albanese's Battery Park City buildings, with outside air ducted directly to each unit. To ensure that the system performs well, building staff handle routine maintenance even within the residences, such as replacing filters in the fan-coil units. Gubbins is also proud of how the building endured Hurricane Sandy with minimal impact, and never lost power.
Building energy use is about 30 percent higher than anticipated, however. Those numbers have not yet been analyzed to determine what role weather patterns and occupant behavior might be playing, notes Nico Kienzl, principal with the consulting firm Atelier Ten. Most of the energy use is for natural gas, which chimes with the decision to use absorption chillers and microturbines. As a result, site energy-use intensity (EUI) is not impressive, but source EUI looks better.
The wastewater treatment plant has been both successful in its own right and a laboratory for further development in the area of distributed wastewater treatment. Natural Systems Utilities of Hillsborough, New Jersey, has been using both the Visionaire's 25,000-gallon treatment system and its predecessor at the Solaire to push the boundaries of this technology. Working closely with cooling-tower technicians at the Visionaire and gradually increasing the amount of recycled wastewater, they've demonstrated that it's possible to supply cooling-tower make-up water entirely from recycled wastewater.
The reused wastewater, along with other water conservation measures, has resulted in total water savings of 55 percent over code and sewer discharge reductions of 64 percent. They're also working to reduce the energy demand of these systems, which in the first year accounted for 376 kWh per day, or about one percent of the overall building's energy use.