Top 10 Green Apartment Buildings in NYC

More and more NY apartments for rent and for sale are coming on to the market in green buildings, designed, constructed and maintained in an environmentally conscious manner. But are all NYC green buildings equal? Of course not.

Here's a look at the Urban Edge list of the Top 10 Green Buildings in NYC, usually LEED certified (from basic to Platinum), always engineered for the most efficient use of energy, water, and other resources; built with sustainable, recycled, and/or local construction materials; and maintained with an emphasis on health and well-being of the residents.   


  1. The Toren

    This spectacular new luxury tower, located in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn, has 240 condo units in all sizes, including more than 40 reserved for tenants with moderate incomes, chosen by lottery. The attention-getting, stripey Toren was not only one of 2010 fastest-selling new buildings—no surprise, with amenities such as attended parking lot, private movie theater, swimming pool, and bi-level roof garden with matchless views of the Manhattan skyline--it's also on target to receive its LEED Gold certification this year.   


  2. The Verdesian

    Situated on the northern edge of Battery Park City—and, so, as close to the energy and nightlife of Tribeca as it is a part of all those lovely riverfront parks— The Verdesian is a 26-story rental building with a focus on both the comfort of its tenants and the health of the environment. The Verdesian has all of the extras you'd expect from a contemporary luxury building (children's playroom, bicycle storage, maid and valet services, floor-to-ceiling windows), but the rental tower also includes some far more rare, green amenities, such as central air-filtration, a natural gas-fired cooling system (which contributes to an astonishing 48% lower peak electric demand), and an insulating, pesticide-free roof garden.


  3. The Visionaire

    Also in Battery Park City, the Visionaire is Manhattan's first (and, so far, only) LEED Platinum Certified residential property, a 34-story condo building whose curving glass and terra cotta façade dominates the southern end of the community. The Visionaire's luxury amenities are legion, including sky-lit swimming pool, playroom, valet parking, bicycle storage (a key feature, what with the Hudson River Park right there), and in-residence washers and dryers. But the Visionaire is also healthy for you, and the environment, with features such as a central water filtration system, efficient elevators with regenerative drives, central cooling that releases no ozone-depleting refrigerants, and construction with 50% recycled materials.  


  4. Observatory Place

    East Harlem's striking, LEED Certified Observatory Place is an 11-story condo building marked both by its enviable list of amenities as well as its commitment to a more sustainable, environmentally healthy lifestyle. Observatory Place offers residents private balconies and terraces in most of its 38 units, bike storage in the lobby, and a rooftop retreat with gym and garden, all combined with such environmentally-friendly features as a green roof, the use of sustainable, health-conscious building and maintenance materials, and other energy-efficient touches.


  5. The Kalahari

    Located in Southern Harlem, just a few blocks from Central Park, the boldly-designed Kalahari condo complex features a pair of 12-story structures with entrances on both 116th and 115th Streets. The Kalahari has been LEED Silver Certified and boasts such luxurious and environmentally-sound amenities as on-site Zip Cars, bamboo flooring, fitness (with squash court!) and meeting facilities, the usage of renewable sources (solar and wind) for 25% of its energy, green roofs, ionic and plexi air filtration, and recycled building materials. 


  6. The Edge

    Towering over the Williamsburg waterfront, The Edge is one of the premiere condo developments in all of Brooklyn, featuring not only to an unparalleled package of luxury amenities, but also a commitment to environmentally responsible living, and is seeking LEED Silver Certification. Among the highlights for residents of the Edge: on-site hybrid Zip Cars; pools, multi-function team-sports facilities, steam bath and spa treatment rooms; sustainably harvested wood for floors and cabinets; screening room, playroom, game room, party room; roof terraces with heat-reflective pavers.


  7. Markham Gardens

    Staten Island's greenest community has to be Markham Gardens, a lovely 12-acre site with 290 rental units (from studio to four-bedroom apartments) set among tree-lined walkways, landscaped communal areas and pretty, three-story houses with both front and back yards. Located near the Staten Island Ferry in St. George, and designed and constructed to receive LEED for Homes certification, Markham Gardens makes for an excellent, affordable alternative to the suburbs. 


  8. Greenbelt

    Situated near Williamsburg's McCarren Park (as well as eveythinf else thayt makes living in Williamsburg so appealing), the Greenbelt condo building is LEED Gold Certified, offering residents both satisfying sense of environmental responsibility, as well as greatly reduced living costs by using a tremendous 40% less energy and 30% less water than comparable homes. Wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows; rapidly renewable bamboo flooring as well as 40% recycled building materials; and a striking, contemporary design all add up one the borough's most coveted green addresses.


  9. Dinkins Gardens

    The David and Joyce Dinkins Gardens is an unassuming but intelligently designed green building, featuring 85 units of affordable housing in northern Harlem, just across the Hudson River from Yankee Stadium. Built entirely from non-toxic, recycled and locally-made materials, Dinkins Gardens also helps its residents keep their energy usage (and, therefore, their energy bills)  low with a insulating green roof, south-facing solar shades, and energy-star appliances and light fixtures.  


  10. HL23

    Located in West Chelsea, nestled right up against the justifiably celebrated High Line, HL23 is not only a true stunner of a building, it's also in the process of receiving its LEED Gold Certification. With only 11 full-floor condos in the entire bending, folding building, HL23 may not be the most inclusive of NYC's new green properties, but for those fortunate few, you can bet that this unique, museum-quality, almost-avant-garde structure will make for quite a environmentally-conscious home.


What do you think? Do you have your own favorite green apartment buildings? Tell us, or post it on our Facebook page.

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