“Green real estate” is a term that’s garnered a lot of buzz in New York City in recent years, maybe even more so than in other parts of the country. That might be because the density of the city makes us long to do something good for nature, or because of New Yorkers’ predisposition toward left-leaning politics. But, whatever the reason, there are a lot of LEED-certified and otherwise eco-friendly properties around these parts, as evidenced by websites like GreenHomeNYC and gbNYC (Green Buildings NYC).
Photo courtesy of Metropolis
One building that has caught my eye as I’ve walked around Brooklyn (where I live) is the Ice House, a 14,000-square-foot building that was built in 1880 as — you guessed it! — an ice house for the Nassau Brewery and converted into apartments in the early aughts. What struck me first about the building was that it’s gorgeous, with amazing original brick detail. But, then I started to hear about how the building had all these cool green features, and my interest piqued. Here are some more interesting facts about the building, courtesy of GreenHomeNYC and Metropolis:
  • The building features high-performance windows, compact fluorescent lights and radiant floor heating.
  • All the bathroom fixtures, with the exception of the toilets, were purchased from local architectural salvage stores. Eighteen original steel-frame windows have been reused throughout the building.
  • All the appliances are Energy Star.
  • Building materials included low-VOC paints and adhesives and salvaged wood from the building’s previous usage.
  • The roof features not only solar panels, but also two extensive green areas that cut summer cooling bills by up to 30%.
So, as you can see, it’s super cool and super eco-friendly. What’s most impressive, actually, is that it shows that a building can be both aesthetically to-die-for and eco-friendly at the same time. It’s given me a lot of ideas for places I may inhabit in the future!