21W20, a new condominium development in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, has become the world’s first residential project to be certified under the WELL Building Standard (WELL), which focuses on enhancing occupants’ health and well-being through the built environment. The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), the public benefit corporation that administers WELL, made the determination.
To be awarded WELL Certification by IWBI, 21W20 underwent testing by Green Business Certification Inc., the third-party certification body for both WELL and the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standard. The building achieved Silver level under WELL Multifamily Residential Certification, based on seven categories of building performance: air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort and mind.
Project features include MERV 13 Air filtration; three-pane, laminated-glass windows; and in-floor acoustic mats to mute interior and exterior noise. 21W20 is also pursuing LEED certification and is expected to be the first residence to be both WELL and LEED Certified.
21W20, designed by Beyer Blinder Belle with interiors by David Mann of MR Architecture + Decor, is a 13-residence project comprised of four penthouses and nine tower units. Located just off Fifth Avenue, 21W20 features a glass, cast iron and stone façade that rises from the street to the tenth floor. On the eleventh floor and above are the full-floor penthouses.
The locally based Gale International, a privately held real estate development and investment firm, developed 21W20. The company is no stranger to sustainable development, with more than 22 million square feet of green building space certified worldwide. Gale is also the master plan developer of the 100 million-square-foot Songdo International Business District in South Korea, which has been recognized as one of the most sustainable new cities in the world.