With the 50th anniversary of Earth Day happening today, here is how you can choose an eco-friendly NYC building as your next home.
What is Earth Day?
Earth Day is the world’s largest environmental movement to help drive change for people and the planet. It’s celebrated every year on April 22nd in more than 193 countries. It is a way to help educate about environmental issues and support environmental protection around the world. Some communities even celebrate it as Earth Week, which includes an entire week of activities that focus on different aspects of environmental issues.
The first Earth Day was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970, and it was the first modern environmental movement to give voice to environmental protection. It inspired 20 million people to peacefully demonstrate against the decline of the environment and favored for reform. In 1990, Denis Hayes, who helped organize the first Earth Day, made it international and organized events in 141 nations.
So why is Earth Day so important? It’s a great way to raise awareness about how important it is to protect our fragile planet. Earth Day is also a reminder that everyone is capable of helping the environment in our daily lives. It educates us on how to protect human health by paying attention to the air, water, and land we live in! Earth Day 2020 will be the 50th anniversary of this celebrated day, and its theme is climate action.
How to become more environmentally friendly in NYC
With the stay-at-home order currently in effect due to the Coronavirus, you may be wondering how to celebrate Earth Day in New York City. There are plenty of fun and educational activities and programs you can do with your little ones or even with the whole family.
These activities by the NYC Environmental Department include “Trout in the Classroom” and “Newtown Creek Nature Walk” virtual classes. Additionally, there is an Earth Day Live 2020 stream where all the Earth Day events will go digitally, so you can watch and support from the safety of your home. You and your family can even register for a digital event to participate in!
If you are currently in the hunt for a new apartment in the City, another great way to be more eco-friendly is to look for buildings that meet the eco-friendliness standards.
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Green building vs. eco-friendly building
So what does a green building and eco-friendly building mean exactly? The more common term is “green building” and is generally used as more of an umbrella term. It represents a building that is made more environmentally friendly, has long-lasting plans to function with a smaller environmental footprint, or focuses on optimizing performances. That way it functions more efficiently and cost effectively. Green building in NYC can be vastly different from one another as one could only have one of those attributes and another could have three.
These differences in eco-friendliness are represented by the type of certification a building has received. The NYC green building law (LL86) passed in 2005 states that all new buildings and reconstruction work that gets city funds must be built according to the standards of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). This law also requires some designs that reduce the use of energy and potable water, such as boiler and HVAC controls, plumbing upgrades, and larger lighting.
The LEED is a type of rating system for green buildings by the U.S. Green Building Council. It has four different rating levels for buildings: certified, silver, gold, and the highest being platinum. These ratings are based on point levels where buildings can earn points for different things such as water efficiency, lower energy consumption, improved indoor environmental quality, and much more.
Most times buildings will be referred to as a “green” building, but they are not all created equally. The biggest differences between them are their certifications. For instance, those with a basic LEED certified level might be based on how much construction waste was recycled or how close the building is from public transportation options. For a platinum certification, it could mean the building is generating its own electricity, capturing rainwater, has more efficient indoor lighting, and other advanced sustainability elements. These platinum rated buildings would be considered more eco-friendly as they are directly lowering impact on the environment on a larger scale.
Eco-friendly buildings in NYC to explore
Now if you’re wondering where to live in New York City next and want to live in an eco-friendly building, there are plenty of options out for you on the NYC real estate market! Here are just a few buildings that are LEED certified for you to check out.
LEED certification: Platinum
Neighborhood: Battery Park City, Manhattan
This residential building was the first LEED Platinum apartment space in NYC. It was constructed with photovoltaic paneling, which converts sunlight directly into electricity, a green roof, rainwater collection and reuse system, and has a filtered air.
Here is one available listing on the market for a space in The Visionaire:
Space: 3 beds, 2.5 baths, 1,681 sqft
This apartment unit for rent has floor to ceiling windows with beautiful views of the Hudson River and Statue of Liberty. It also has a separate living and dining area, high ceilings, open kitchen, and wooden floors. It’s in a pet-friendly building and it’s amenities include a doorman, roofdeck, pool, fitness center, bike storage, and more.
According to Localize’s insights, the building has no violations, no recent complaints, and no elevator issues! The building is located in a neighborhood with below average crime rate but is in the high flood risk zone and hurricane evacuation zone. Additionally, it is also next to a highway which could mean potentially traffic noise and higher air pollution. However, the nearby schools are highly rated and the population in this neighborhood are relatively wealthy compared to the rest of the city and are highly educated.
LEED certification: Gold
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village, Manhattan
The Greenwich Lane development is unique in that it consists of five buildings and five story townhouses in West Village. It spans a full-block and is made up of 204 units. The building was constructed with recycled and local building materials, a storm water collection system, low-emitting paints and flooring, high-efficiency LED lights, and water efficient plumbing.
Here is just one listing for rent at one of the five addresses this building consists of:
Space: 2 beds, 2.5 baths, 2,079 sqft
This apartment unit features custom built-in closets, a built-in bar with wine fridge in the great room, a planted terrace, eat-in windowed kitchen, in-unit washer/dryer, and is fully wired for sound and lighting control throughout. The building amenities include a doorman and concierge, fitness and wellness center, golf simulator, pool, 21-seat screening room, and much more.
According to Localize, the building has no violations, no recent complaints, and no elevator issues. The apartment is located in a neighborhood with average crime rates and the nearby schools are very high-rated. However, it is important to note that the building is in a hurricane evacuation zone. There are also 15 transit lines within walking distance and is in a bike-friendly area with 21 Citi Bike stations available.
LEED certification: Gold
Neighborhood: Chelsea, Manhattan
HL23 has a unique, modern design and was constructed with reverse-tapered glass. The building features eco-friendly recycled building materials, 100% green energy, water conserving fixtures, and a highly reflective roofing material. If you love how this modern building looks and their eco-friendly appliances, here is an available condo unit for sale in this green building:
Space: 2 beds, 2 baths, 1,870 sqft
This condo features beautiful views of the High Line, keyed elevators, open living room, library, dining room, central air, washer/dryer, and much more. The building is pet-friendly and some amenities include a TechnoGym fitness center, bike room, doorman, and storage. The building also has no violations, no recent complaints, and no elevator issues.
According to Localize’s insights, the neighborhood has slightly below average crime rate, but is in the flood zone and hurricane evacuation zone. There are also two nearby construction sites with one estimated to end in 2021 and the other in 2023. The apartment has good connectivity to all hubs with 9 transit lines and is in a bike-friendly area with 14 Citi Bike stations nearby. This particular building is also near a year round ice skating rink you and your family can enjoy!
LEED certification: Gold
Neighborhood: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Williamsburg Edge, also known as The Edge, is a two tower development that’s located at 22 North Sixth Street and 34 North Seventh Street. The towers feature energy-efficient windows and walls and the apartment units have WaterSense fixtures and Energy Star rated appliances along with sensors for lighting in common areas. The units are also sealed against smoke and odor leakage from other apartments and corridors. Additionally, the wood floors and kitchen cabinets are made from sustainably harvested wood. Even better, about 75% of the waste from construction was recycled instead of in landfills.
Space: 1 bed, 1 bath, 601 sqft
This apartment space has floor to ceiling windows with open Western views of Midtown Manhattan and the East River. It also features a private balcony, full breakfast bar, in-unit washer/dryer, and Queen sized bedroom. The building has no violations, no recent complaints, and no elevator issues. Some amenities include a fitness center with pool, hot tub, sauna, and steam room, screening room, lounge with kitchen, TV, pool table, and Wi-Fi, and much more.
According to Localize, the neighborhood has slightly below average crime rates, but is in the flood zone and hurricane evacuation zone. There are no construction sites within half a block and has good connectivity to all hubs with 9 transit lines and is in a bike-friendly area with 7 Citi Bike stations within walking distance. Additionally, the East River Ferry is located near the building.
LEED certification: Gold
Neighborhood: Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn
The Toren was built with a unique exterior that is made up of a patchwork of metal and glass panels. A few sustainable features this building has is its rainscreen system at the base and a cogeneration plant that supplies its tenants with both power and water. While there are a few spaces to purchase and rent on the market within this residential building, here is just one great rental that could potentially be your next home:
Space: 3 beds, 3 baths, 1,451 sqft
This penthouse features double-height windows with electric shades, spiral floating staircase, beautiful views, and Brazilian Ipe Walnut flooring, and much more. This particular apartment unit also gets plenty of bright natural light throughout the day. According to Localize, the building has no violations, no recent complaints, and no elevator issues.
The building is located in an above average crime rate neighborhood and the building sits along a truck route which means there will be potentially more big vehicles on the road. There are also two dangerous intersections nearby to be aware of. Within a block of the apartment building, there are currently two construction sites with one set to finish in 2020 and the other estimated to end in 2022. There is plenty of public transportation nearby with 9 transit lines and is in a bike-friendly area with 17 Citi Bike stations within walking distance.
LEED certification: Silver
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park has many eco-friendly features that include a rainwater irrigation system, composting units in each apartment, efficient LED lighting, an automatic solar-shade system, and 600 year old reclaimed pine flooring.
Here is just one apartment available in this green building:
Space: 3 beds, 2.5 baths, 2,605 sqft
This condo features views of Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge, East River, and Statue of Liberty. It also has an open main floor, floor to ceiling windows, walk-in closets, energy-efficient solar shades, spa bathrooms, pine floors, and much more. The building has no violations, no recent complaints, but has a broken elevator report. However, according to Localize’s insights, there is a good chance this issue has already been resolved.
The building is located in a neighborhood with below average crime rates but is in a flood zone and hurricane evacuation zone. Additionally, there have been complaints about noise from a nearby bar with an outdoor space. Many of these complaints were filed on the weekends and tend to be filed between 9 pm to midnight. There are 8 nearby transit lines and the apartment is in a bike-friendly area with 8 Citi Bike stations within walking distance.
With all these beautiful and eco-friendly buildings in NYC, there’s no reason for you not to find your next apartment in a green apartment building. Happy Earth Day and happy eco-friendly apartment hunting.