A green machine for living

sharon mchugh
Thursday 05 Mar 2009

New York’s greenest residential project nears completion

South Slope Brooklyn is soon to have something to boast about. In June, the neighborhood will see the completion of a new luxury condominium project dubbed the Silhouette that is touted to be the greenest residential project in New York City. The building is small with only four units. But in terms of energy leadership it packs a wallop. In addition to exceeding the energy code, the Silhouette will be Energy Star rated and will seek LEED Platinum designation.

Designed by Caleb Crawford and Annie Coggan of Coggan + Crawford Architecture and Design and built by long time collaborator, Andrew Giancola, the Silhouette is an unpretentious passive solar house containing four full floor apartments, each with two bedrooms and two baths. The project takes advantage of its north south orientation and is built of modest materials that are high-energy performers as, for example, masonry walls that absorb and reradiate heat, super insulation, and triple glazed windows. Crawford calls the project the Yin Yang building as one façade is black and the other is white. The building’s black and white theme is at once poetic and practical. The street façade, which faces north, is painted black to absorb the heat in the winter. The garden façade, which faces south, is clad in a high luster white brick to reflect heat in the summer. The black and white theme is carried though to the building's interior, where black New England slate and white-toned IceStone are used for the countertops in the kitchens and baths. Reclaimed barn wood is used for the floors.

The project is capped off with a green roof; a place of respite for city dwellers that provides stunning views of the Statue of Liberty, New York City’s Harbour and Lower Manhattan.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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