The Visionaire, the Albanese Organization’s third project in the green haven that is Manhattan’s Battery Park City, raises the bar for high performance residential building.

The Visionaire-New York, N.Y.

In June the $193 million project earned LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, surpassing the developer’s earlier “green” residential high rises, The Solaire and The Verdesian, in terms of energy efficiency, indoor air quality and water management.

Designed by Pelli Clark Pelli, New Haven, Conn., the 35-story 500,000-sq-ft tower with a 10-story base saves 35% more energy than similar buildings.

The sleek tower contains 247 condominiums and 4,000 sq ft of retail space. The base houses the four-story, 40,000-sq-ft headquarters of the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy.

The unique curved façade with oversized windows optimizes views, floods residences with daylight and leverages natural ventilation. The tower’s slim profile helps reduce shadows on the surrounding community.

The façade’s panelized curtainwall integrates terracotta colored concrete with low-e insulated glass and more than 4,500 sq ft of integrated photovoltaic panels. Lightweight aluminum frames with thermal breaks and 3-in thick mineral fiber insulation boosts the system’s thermal performance.

Sensors and master switches control non-essential lighting and electric appliances. A master switch near apartment entrances turns off lights in the bedrooms, living room and hallway when occupants leave the residence.

High-efficiency air filtration systems promote indoor air quality while minimizing energy use. Low- or no-VOC paints, adhesives and sealants and mold resistance sheetrock is used throughout the facility.

Wastewater from sinks and showers is collect by a blackwater treatment system to resupply toilets and provide makeup water for the HVAC systems. Rainwater is gathered and stored in a 10,000 gallon cistern to irrigate rooftop gardens, which insulate the building. Collectively these measures reduce potable water usage by 55 percent and earned the project a LEED innovative design credit.

Each home features FSC certified wood flooring. The kitchens include renewable bamboo cabinetry and Energy Star appliances. Over 66 percent of the wood used is FSC certified, more than 29 percent of materials are recycled and 27 percent are sourced locally.

“The developer and designer worked hard to find the best materials,” explains Sara Kendall, project manager at New York-based Turner Construction. “In the lobby they used end grained flooring reclaimed from scraps of lumber. It is an attractive way to use materials that would otherwise end up in the dumpster or landfill.”

Albanese’s hands-on approach and the collaborative effort of the entire project team allowed for interior design to be finalized while the superstructure was underway without missing fabrication release deadlines.

“The Visionaire is the premier example of green residential development and this achievement is the result of a dedicated and experienced team of professionals working toward the common goal of improving the built environment,” says Albanese President Russell Albanese.

Key Players

Owner: Albanese Organization, Garden City, N.Y.
Construction Manager: Turner Construction, New York
Design Architect: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, New Haven, Conn.
Project Architect: SLCE Architects, New York
Interior Design: Stedila Design, Inc. and Atelier Ten, New York
MEP: Cosentini Associates, New York
Structural Engineer: DeSimone Consulting Engineers, New York
Geotechnical and Foundation Engineer: Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers, New York
LEED Consultant: Atelier Ten, New York
Curtainwall Consultant: IBA Curtainwall Consultants, New York
Acoustic Consultant: Cerami Associates, New York
Elevator Consultant: Barker Mahandas, Bristol, Conn.