Via Verde – The Green Way has achieved LEED Gold certification! The affordable housing project features 34,000 square feet of green roofs that offer active gardening, reduce storm water run-off, and enhance building insulation. For on-site irrigation, rainwater run-off is collected and recycled through an underground concrete cistern and five 180-liter tanks. Photovoltaic panels provide 66kw of energy to power lighting in common areas. The development uses high-efficiency building systems and EnergyStar lighting and appliances, and low-flow fixtures. Enhanced commissioning during construction ensures the design intent is met and that systems are properly installed and balanced. The combined result is 25% energy use reduction.
While equipped with central heating, Via Verde is engineered to operate efficiently through passive techniques. The building envelope, a prefabricated rain screen panel system, provides a sealed, well-insulated, “breathing” enclosure and sunshades diffuse direct solar radiation. Large low-E glass windows—typically on two exposures to promote cross-ventilation—reflect solar energy and provide abundant daylighting, while ceiling fans and operable windows reduce the need for air conditioning. Natural lighting in stairwells promotes a sense of safety and encourages use as part of NYC’s Active Design program.
Residents are educated on the building’s green energy features in order to promote energy optimization and sustainable living. A display in the main lobby shows energy statistics, such as the solar panel outputs in real time. The combined effort champions sustainable affordable housing and healthy living.