The Solaire, in Battery Park City, New York, was designed by the architectural firm of Pelli Clarke Pelli. It was the first "green" residential building in the United States as well as the first residential high-rise building in New York City to be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. Completed in 2003, it has been described as an "environmentally-progressive residential tower".
The developer received funding from the State of New York, which was somewhat controversial as the developer was only required to agree to set aside 10% of the units as "affordable housing" or "moderate income", rather than the usual 80:20 agreement. When the building opened rents ranged from roughly $2500 to $9001 depending on the size of the unit. The Solaire is located at 20 River Terrace in Battery Park City, one of the most affluent neighborhoods in New York City with a view that spans from Jersey City in the west to a glimpse of the Empire State building and the UN, the tallest building in NYC since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, standing above the rest of its surroundings.
The building has been rated "U.S. Green Building Council LEED-NC, v2 – Level: platinum". The LEED ratings were established by the Green Building Council to evaluate a building's efforts to use renewable materials, conserve energy and water consumption and enhance indoor air quality. The energy conserving building design is 35% more energy-efficient than code requires, resulting in a 67% lower electricity demand during peak hours, resulting in (among other benefits):
- Lower electric bills for residents
- Photovoltaic panels convert sunlight to electricity
- Computerized building management system and environmentally responsible operating and maintenance practices
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