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New York’s First LEED for Communities Certification

Image of Stuyvesant Town - Peter Cooper VillageSteven Winter Associates led the certification process for the landmark achievement earned by New York’s Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.

February 5, 2019

Two of New York City’s largest residential communities, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, have achieved certification under the new Unites States Green Building Council (USGBC) program, LEED® for Communities™. The projects are the first in the state to earn the certification, achieving a LEED Platinum rating – the most stringent and arduous category within the LEED rating system program.

For over a decade, Steven Winter Associates has been working with the properties to comply with NYC’s Local Laws, reduce energy usage, and minimize carbon emissions. The residential complexes, located on the east end of Manhattan, were built in the 1940’s with the intention of housing newly returned World War II veterans and their families. They feature a combined 110 structures and 11,250 apartments across 80 acres of land with an approximate 22,000 residents and an occupancy rate around 98 percent.

A History of Collaboration

Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village’s management has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability by continuing to prioritize strategic investments that improve the operations of their buildings. Steven Winter Associates’ relationship with Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village dates to 2006, when the firm first began performing energy audits for the properties under the NYSERDA ResTech program. Since then, SWA has provided consulting for Local Law 84 and 87 compliance, carbon reduction initiatives, and energy efficiency services. With these improvements, Steven Winter Associates was able to guide the communities to another noteworthy achievement: the first project to earn certification under the ENERGY STAR for Existing Multifamily Buildings program.

Working closely with the operations staff from Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village, Steven Winter Associates continued to collaborate on high-value projects that result in significant cost- and energy-savings. Other recent improvements include the installation of a building management system, LED lighting upgrades, a 3.8 megawatt solar photovoltaic project, and the installation of cool roofs across the complexes.

About LEED for Communities

The USGBC created LEED for Communities and LEED for Cities to support and celebrate largescale, existing developments like Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, that exhibit continuous progress in creating a higher quality of life for their residents. This holistic approach was derived from the USGBC’s new Arc platform, which measures community performance across five different categories: Energy (CO2e/person), Water (gallons/person), Waste (tons/person), Transportation (Vehicle Miles Traveled/person), and Human Experience (Quality of Life factors).

As cities and communities continue to be at the forefront of energy benchmarking and greenhouse gas reduction, participation in these new programs are expected to increase. Already, almost 60 cities and communities around the world have registered or begun their certification processes under the LEED for Communities program.

Certifying properties as aged and vast as these would typically be a formidable undertaking. However, the longstanding relationship between Steven Winter Associates and Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, coupled with the properties’ commitment to incremental improvements, afforded the project an easier transition into the LEED program. SWA is thrilled to have contributed to the success of this laudable achievement, which serves as a pillar for community developments everywhere. We congratulate our partners on their achievement and look forward to helping more communities navigate and earn certification under the new LEED programs.

To learn more about this achievement, visit Stuytown’s sustainability page, or contact us today.