Albanese’s Visionaire Awarded Grand Prize in N.Y. Green Building Competition

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorNew York–The Visionaire condominium and Battery Park Conservancy’s maintenance facility were selected as the grand prize winners of New York’s 2008 Green Building Competition, co-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New York City Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability.Developed by Garden City, N.Y.-based The Albanese Organization and designed by Pelli Clark Pelli Architects, the 35-story Visionaire is home to the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that maintains the parks and open spaces of Battery Park City. The Battery Park Conservancy is located on the first floor of the 251-unit luxury condominium.The Albanese Organization developed the first green residential building in North America, The Solaire, which attained LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification, and the Verdesian, the first residential high-rise to be awarded a LEED Platinum rating. The Visionaire, also designed to LEED Platinum standards and which just became ready for occupancy, will be Albanese’s greenest residential project to date.“In building green, you are constantly evaluating and building on what’s been done before. A LEED Platinum development built two years ago should not be as advanced as a building designed and constructed today,” Russell Albanese, president, The Albanese Organization, tells MHN. The Visionaire, he explains, “goes a few steps further in implementing technologies and improvements over the past projects.”For example, a high-efficiency air filtration system cleanses the air in all residences, and a 24-hour indoor air quality monitoring system is designed to ensure optimal air filtration. The central heating and cooling system is powered by natural gas. Additionally, the building’s elevators have regenerative drives that use 30 percent less energy than standard elevators, Albanese notes.The Visionaire offers studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom homes, and units can be combined for additional bedrooms. Residences range in size from 680 to 3,600 sq. ft., with prices ranging from $680,000 to $5.3 million.Created in 2004, the Green Building Competition is meant to showcase how green building principles can be incorporated into both new and existing buildings in New York, to encourage the development of new ideas in green building design and to highlight the challenges to green building in New York.The theme of this year’s competition was integration–particularly into the existing community–and aimed to showcase projects that educate and inspire green design. “We’ve made it our practice to share what we’ve learned on our projects with the industry,” Albanese explains. “We also go a long way in helping to educate our residents and to help them live green.”