A ribbon-cutting ceremony held last week marked the official completion of a new net-zero apartment building in Brooklyn's Brighton Beach neighborhood.
Bright N' Green (get it?) is a structure complete with several of the most mainstream appealing green features. The land now home to the green building was first a brownfield containing dangerous amounts of lead. A combination of solar panels and geothermal power are enough not only to power the building, but feed approximately $6,000 worth of electricity back onto the grid each month. Even with this incredible renewable energy victory for a residential building in a dense neighborhood, there are still plans to add a wind turbine to the building site.
Inside Bright N' Green's modern facade is another slew of green features. The building's appliances are all efficient and much of the indoor surfaces were built using reclaimed materials. The floors, for example, are made from reclaimed wood from shipping containers.
Bright N' Green stays true to its name with small garden spaces on its roof and a future vision that will include plant life covering the entire exterior, creating additional insulation.
The multifamily building even benefited the Brighton Beach community long before completion, according to the project's Architect Robert Scarano. Although the project itself was not severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy two years ago, the solar array was able to provide the building's neighbors with electricity during and after the storm by running extension cords to other apartment buildings.
Currently, four units are occupied and others are listed on Air BnB. Perhaps the most important feature of the project, however, is that the building will truly serve as a model for similar urban residential design. Ongoing energy data collection as well as initial project guidelines will be made available for the public from the Bright N' Green website. Other architects and contractors can use the data to build similar green apartment buildings.
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