Navy Green: New York State’s First LEED-Neighborhood Development Project
Navy Green is a large-scale development project in Brooklyn, NY. Co-developed by Dunn Development Corp., L&M Development Partners Inc., and Pratt Area Community Council, the 2.36 acre development is just south of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and is comprised of approximately 482,000sf of new construction, including 433 dwelling units and ground floor retail and/or community facility space, all surrounding a central courtyard park. Steven Winter Associates (SWA) helped the project team attain many sustainability goals, such as earning LEED® for New Construction (NC) 2009™ and LEED® for Neighborhood Development™ (ND) 2009 certification, as well as achieving the ENERGY STAR® label and complying with NYSERDA’s Multifamily Performance Program (MPP).
At the time Navy Green was one of only ten LEED-ND Stage Two projects certified worldwide, representing the first LEED-ND certified project in the state of New York, and achieving a Silver rating. Following an ND requirement, all of the project’s multifamily and mixed-use buildings committed to demonstrating a minimum 10-percent energy reduction over ASHRAE 90.1-2007; townhomes committed to meeting ENERGY STAR v2 criteria. The project is located near public transportation and other basic services and is walkable and pedestrian-friendly–all priorities of the LEED-ND rating system. The efficient building envelope design, HVAC equipment, and plumbing fixtures will contribute to lower annual water and energy costs.
Navy Green R3 is an 8-story residential building accounting for approximately 96,000 gross sf, and is located at 45 Clermont Ave. The building includes 101 affordable rental units, a common laundry room, large community room for events, and access to a common green area in the backyard. This building earned its LEED-NC certification in June 2012, as well as an ENERGY STAR label. Key sustainable site features include building on previously developed land, utilizing only existing parking areas in the neighborhood, and proximity to public transportation. Apartment and common areas are equipped with ENERGY STAR light fixtures and appliances, low flush/flow plumbing fixtures, and are heated and cooled via high-efficiency direct vent, sealed combustion boilers, and high efficiency indirect hot water heating. Low emitting adhesives, sealants, paints and coatings were used throughout the building. Best practice air-sealing and flashing details create a virtually airtight building, with all apartments outfitted with fresh make-up air, as well as continuous exhaust in the kitchens and bathrooms, creating a comfortable and healthy indoor air quality environment.
Enrollment in NYSERDA’s MPP helped both the recently completed Navy Green R3 (45 Clermont Ave.) and Navy Green Supportive Housing (40 Vanderbilt Ave.) meet high standards for energy efficiency and reap some benefits for the effort. Incentives offered by NYSERDA helped the project team offset initial costs of the energy efficiency upgrades. While a third building, Navy Green R1 (7 Clermont Ave), was not enrolled in MPP, the building used similar design criteria to achieve over 10-percent energy savings over ASHRAE 90.1 – 2007 based on energy modeling that compared the building to a baseline standard. Navy Green R2 will also be enrolled in the NYSERDA MPP as well as with Enterprise Green Communities.
The key advantage of developing buildings within the Navy Green project site is that similar energy efficiency design components are easily implemented across buildings. Instead of reinventing the wheel each time, similar systems and components can be adopted to each specific building, which saves the design team time (and money) during each stage of development. The Navy Green development includes 23 single-family townhomes nestled between the larger multi-family buildings on the site. Implementing a highly insulated building shell with reduced infiltration allowed each unit to be conditioned by an air-source heat pump (ASHP), which provides heat through the refrigeration process in the same way as a standard air conditioner but in reverse. Although the system’s capacity drops as ambient outdoor temperature drops, by coupling increased capacity at lower temperatures with a decreased heating load, the design team was able to minimize the need for backup heat and thereby maximize the system efficiency.
To make certain that all the energy efficiency technologies were actually installed and operating as intended, as well as to ensure that all of the systems work together to function as a high performance building, SWA was contracted by the development team to perform enhanced commissioning of Navy Green’s mechanical systems, a requirement for obtaining LEED-NC credits EAp1 and EAc3. The commissioned systems included all HVAC systems the domestic hot water system and the lighting system. From inception through completion, the systems were specified, constructed, and are intended to be operated with a high level of energy efficiency. As a part of our process, the SWA team utilized a deficiency log, which allows for all issues that arise throughout construction to be addressed before the building is turned over. As a result of the commissioning effort, all systems functioned properly and any issues identified were addressed, corrected, and closed.