Green Manhattan luxury condominium. To some, it might sound like a contradiction -- how can a green condominium also be a luxury condominium. But to those in the know about Manhattan real estate, the words “green Manhattan luxury condominium” sound a lot like the future. It’s not just that many New Yorkers would prefer to live in an energy efficient, environmentally responsible building, although LEED-certified condominiums certainly do have their own built-in marketing angle. With the cost of green construction now essentially identical to that of conventional methods, green building has become more common than ever -- and, in Manhattan, that has led to some uncommonly luxurious green condominiums. Many of the most in-demand new Manhattan condominiums -- including some of the most luxurious new condo listings on the NYC condominium scene -- happen to fall under the category of green condos.
There's more to green building and green living than buzz. Thanks to the certifications handed out by Energy Star -- which is run by the United States Department of Energy, and which grades buildings on their energy efficiency -- and the United States Green Buildings Council's LEED Green Building Rating System, which assigns points and grades across a broad spectrum of building efficiency metrics, it's easy to tell a green apartment building from a regular old apartment building. But while we all agree that efficiency is a virtue -- especially when it comes time to pay the Con Ed bill at month’s end -- it’s worth asking: what sets green condominiums apart from other NYC condos?
- Improved Indoor Environmental Quality: Green buildings generally offer excellent ventilation and daylight, air quality monitoring systems, and efficient heating. For green condominium owners, green means a living space that is safe, efficient, comfortable, and healthy.
- Greater Energy & Water Efficiency: As with conventional condo buildings, green apartment buildings must measure up to basic energy standards. But to earn high scores from LEED, green buildings need to optimize energy by at least 14% above the average; Energy Star is even more rigorous, demanding that EnergyStar-certified condos rank 15% above an already high standard established back in 2004. State-of-the-art building management systems make achieving this level of sustainability easier than you'd think, and some green apartment buildings also purchase green power or even generate their own energy on-site. And, of course, this innovative approach to energy efficiency ensures that owners of green condos pay less in utilities -- often far less than their counterparts in conventional NYC condos.
- Responsible Resource Use: Call it efficiency, if you like. In addition to offering convenient recycling, apartments for rent in green buildings tend to feature local, rapidly renewable, recycled, or recyclable materials, and almost always feature Energy Star-rated appliances.
- Sustainability: Sustainability is big buzzword in green building, and manifests itself in many different ways. Green buildings must be constructed to high standards and in ways that minimize waste, but efficiency doesn't stop once the building is finished. Residents at green buildings are typically able to carpool, bicycle, and use public transportation with utmost ease. Being steps from the subway, for instance, earns developers LEED points, and makes renters happy as well. Nearby green space earns a builder LEED points as well; it also helps them score with buyers, who get some nearby green outdoor space to go with their green living space.
- Innovation: Builders can even earn bonus LEED points by coming up with new ways to maximize efficiency. We'd list some of those here, but they'll be out-of-date by the time you read this. Green building in Manhattan is growing that fast.