“From coastal resiliency and sustainable green practices to the preservation of affordable housing, world-class public art, and vibrant, year-round programming in award-winning public spaces, Battery Park City leads the way in many of the measures that makes cities livable."

Raju Mann

President & CEO
  • 06/14
  • Community
  • Environment


On Friday, June 9, BPCA’s new summer interns toured one of Battery Park City’s residential treasures: The Solaire.

Located at 20 River Terrace, The Solaire is the country’s first ever LEED-certified residential high-rise. Designed by the Albanese Corporation and completed in 2003, the building stands 27 stories high and has beautiful views overlooking Battery Park City and the Hudson River. With nearly 300 units and some 600 residents, the building today provides an amazing opportunity to live green. The building has since earned LEED Platinum certification and continues improving to provide opportunities for their residents to be environmentally friendly!

The tour began in the building’s lobby, where the interns learned how The Solaire was designed with a green mission right from the beginning — which started with the building materials. All materials were imported from within a 500-mile radius in order to reduce transport waste, and after the completion the building was able to recycle 85% of the waste produced during construction.

The tour then proceeded to the basement where interns were shown the wastewater system. Part of what makes The Solaire unique is that it strives  to reuse and recycle wastewater. The wastewater from bathrooms and kitchens goes through a multi-stage filtration  process and is cycled back into use to flush toilets and as makeup water for cooling towers. This not only allows The Solaire to use less water, but also to save and reuse about 50% of the total water it uses.

The group then traveled to the building’s green roof, where solar panels help to produce about 5% of the energy used throughout the building. In addition, scattered among the planted grass surface are rainwater collection holes, where storm water drains down to a container in the basement to be cleaned, sanitized, and reused. The interns found it incredible how all the roof’s features were so carefully conceived and designed to add yet another sustainable feature to the building. The view wasn’t too bad, either.

Finally, the group explored two of The Solaire’s units where a number of features contribute to helping residents be green. Low-E glass in the units acts to reflect rather than absorb sunlight, in turn helping with insulation and lowering heating and cooling costs. All the faucets installed also work to help save water, lowering the overall usage of the building. Another perk of Solaire living is that building management provides residents with eco-friendly cleaning supplies as well as access to an environmentally-friendly laundromat, helping them be green even at the most basic level.

Suffice it to say, green living is the name of the game at The Solaire, and it served to impress upon our interns BPC’s commitment to environmental sustainability. (They were also all ready to move in!)

More information about The Solaire can be found on its website.

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