Four-Unit Condominium is First New York Residential Development to Seek Dual LEED Platinum/ Energy Star Certifications

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorNew York–The Silhouette (pictured), a four-story, four-unit condominium project in Brooklyn’s Park Slope designed to meet both LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum and Energy Star certification, is slated for completion this summer.“We always had [Energy Star] on our sites, and as the market has changed, you look for a differentiator,” notes Robert Roth, president and founder of New York-based Green Envy Development Group Inc., who is among four members–also including Andew Giancola of Giancola Contracting, Larry Vento of Ridge Iron Works and Robert Brown as CFO–of the management group at the project. “We are committed to the green building direction anyway, so we put it all together.”Designed by Coggan & Crawford Architecture and Design with green consulting by Eric Freed of the San Francisco-based firm Organic Architect, the 5,500-sq.-ft. building features double-insulated exterior walls, triple-glazed windows, solar panels and a green garden roof that features a storm water irrigation system and is designed to reduce the heat island effect.In addition, black bricks on the north side of the building absorb solar energy, keeping the building warmer in the winter, while white bricks facing south reflect solar heat, keeping the building cooler in the summer. Each of the Silhouette’s residences will offer two bedrooms and be approximately 1,250 sq. ft. in size. Although purchase prices for the units have not yet been released—sales are expected to begin next month—Roth contends that pricing will be on par to the building next door, which closed in September 2007 and in which Green Envy was an investor. Homes at that project, a three-unit condominium located at 270 21st Street, were priced between $789,000 and $950,000.Despite the current market conditions, Roth remains optimistic about sales at the Silhouette. He says that although the building has not yet been marketed for sale, a number of prospects have shown interest. “We have inventory control,” Roth tells MHN. “We are not trying to compete with the monstrosities out there. We feel that our cozy boutique niche product is resistant to the market far more than our competitors.”The Silhouette is within close proximity to a number of subway and bus routes, as well as Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Residents can take advantage of rooftop views of the Statue of Liberty, New York’s Harbor and Lower Manhattan.Bank of East Asia provided the construction loan for the Silhouette, with the remaining financing coming from private equity.