A new 85-unit apartment building in Harlem shows that affordable housing and green building practices can go hand in hand.
"Situated on West 153rd Street, David & Joyce Dinkins Gardens offers 85 units of affordable housing in addition to a 25,000 square foot youth center and a community garden. Jonathan Rose Companies and Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement developed the $19.5 million community to help repair the "physical, economic, cultural, and spiritual fabric of the neighborhood." Towards these goals the project has kept costs low while integrating a noble set of social and environmental ideals governed by principles of diversity, interdependence, and environmental responsibility."
"Dinkins Gardens utilizes an impressive array of forward-thinking green strategies to promote energy efficiency, conservation, and quality of life while taking advantage of the economic benefits of of green architecture to keep living costs down for residents. The structure is composed of nontoxic, recycled, and locally made materials and features south-facing solar shades and a green roof, both of which help regulate temperature. The roof also has a rainwater harvesting system that funnels water from the roof into storage tanks for the garden's irrigation. Inside, efficient energy systems abound with copious use of natural daylighting, energy star rated appliances and light fixtures, and a high efficiency boiler.
With recent news that green buildings are becoming increasingly profitable, it's great to see projects like this that keep costs down while balancing a sound social and environmental approach. Encouraging vital, eco-friendly communities such as this is a sure step towards ensuring a sustainable future."