Cooper Park Commons Building 2 Awarded in Second Round of Buildings of Excellence Competition

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Competition highlights model projects in effort to scale low-to zero carbon residential buildings in New York State.

SWA LogoBuilding 2 of Cooper Park Commons was recently selected as a $1 million winner in the second round of New York State’s Buildings of Excellence Competition for its high efficiency, low carbon emitting design. The project is also one of five projects awarded a Blue Ribbon for Design Excellence by the Architectural League of New York, based on building and unit design, space functionality and use by occupants, site context, and integration of energy saving and resiliency measures into overall design goals. This competition supports the state’s nation-leading climate goals outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act), which places New York State on a path to economy-wide carbon neutrality and mandates an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Cooper Park Commons is a 100 percent affordable, multi-building development on the former Greenpoint Hospital site in the East Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. Building 2 will deliver 310 units of affordable housing to the neighborhood – 30 percent of which will be reserved for the formerly homeless. The project is being designed to meet the Passive House and LEED® for Homes™ v4 Gold standards, and the entire campus features large solar arrays, storm water detention and management, and newly landscaped open space. Cooper Park Commons is situated within Brooklyn Community District 1, an area with only six percent of its land designated as park space. Having an additional 78,000 square feet of public and private open space will be beneficial to not only residents, but the whole community. As a result of Building 2’s focus on sustainable design, it will achieve energy savings beyond that of typical new construction and will also provide enhanced indoor environmental quality, comfort, health, and resiliency for the tenants.

Cooper Park Commons Building 2Cooper Park Commons Building 2, developed by The Hudson Companies and St. Nicks Alliance, will be financed by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development and the New York City Housing Development Corporation. The project team also comprises Magnusson Architecture and Planning, Architecture Outfit, Dagher Engineering, and Steven Winter Associates. The decision to design Cooper Park Commons  Building 2 to LEED for Homes v4 Gold and Passive House Classic standards demonstrates the development team’s commitment to maximizing the sustainability of all of its buildings to the highest practical level.

The Buildings of Excellence Competition, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), was launched in March 2019, and has awarded over $31 million to over forty exemplary new construction projects. It is the only competition of its kind, with the awarded projects becoming part of a comprehensive data collection effort that will help determine how to cost-effectively deliver superior performing buildings that will serve as an essential building block of a carbon-neutral future and advance the design and construction of multi-family buildings. Cooper Park Commons was selected for its low carbon performance, profitability, ability to be adopted broadly, and for creating a healthy and safe living environment.

NYSERDA Acting President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Congratulations to Steven Winter Associates Inc. and the entire Cooper Park Commons team on their Buildings of Excellence and Blue Ribbon for Design Excellence awards for their winning design, which serves as a model for the achieving the highest standards of energy efficiency in affordable housing. As New York continues its carbon neutral transition, Passive House designs that pair on-site renewable energy resources with innovative decarbonization technologies such as this project does, serve as replicable examples for developers and architects seeking to provide affordable, comfortable and healthy housing that also combats climate change and helps protect our environment for generations to come.”

NYSERDA is supported by an advisory council comprised of a cross-section of experts from the design, real estate and sustainability sectors with partners including American Institute of Architects New York State, ASHRAE and The Real Estate Board of New York.

This project will also provide comprehensive data on design, construction and cost that can be analyzed and shared to increase the number of low- to zero-carbon buildings in New York State. For a complete list of the 42 winning projects statewide, please visit NYSERDA’s Buildings of Excellence website at