Site tours are always educational and frequently fun. That’s why I gladly accepted an invitation to spend a few hours at Via Verde (“The Green Way”), a new affordable multifamily development in the up-and-coming Melrose Section of the Bronx. Co-developed by Phipps Houses and Jonathan Rose Companies, in partnership with Dattner Architects and Grimshaw, Via Verde has been designed to exceed LEED Gold Certification.
Some of these green strategies are low-tech; for example, cross ventilation, colorful stairwells (with natural light that encourage physical activity and reduce elevator usage) and solar shading. But Via Verde also employs sophisticated green roofs that host extensive vegetable gardens (see a slide show from my walking tour), photovoltaic panels, high-efficiency mechanical systems and energy-conserving appliances. The building’s eye-catching envelope—a prefabricated rain screen panel system comprising metal and cement boards with wood accents—also provides a well-insulated, breathing enclosure.
With its gradated elevation that begins as a 20-story tower at the north of the site and then drops to a 12-story mid-rise in the middle and, finally, becomes a four-story townhouse at the south, Via Verde delivers the “wow” factor while also raising the bar for affordable housing. In fact, the 2012 MHN Excellence Awards judges were impressed enough to give it a Gold Award.
Congratulations to Via Verde and all the 2012 Gold and Silver winners featured in our special section on page 28. And thank you to Interface, Carnegie and Yardi who sponsored our second annual New York City Excellence Awards Cocktail Party on September 24 at the new Interface showroom on Fifth Avenue. Don’t miss the November issue of MHN Magazine for complete coverage of the event, including insights shared by keynote speaker Rohit Anand, a principal at KTGY, who presented emerging development trends such as “resident managed space.” Looking for ancillary income? Show residents how to customize their “vanilla” shell—and then rent them the resources to personalize their space.