Livin’ is Easy in First ‘Green’ Residential High-Rise

Aug. 30, 2004
The Solaire earns gold LEED™ rating with help from McQuay chiller
The Solaire at 20 River Terrace, New York City, is a showcase for how new technologies and thoughtful design can work together to create an efficient, earth-friendly building that is comfortable to live in. Dedicated in September 2003, the nation’s first “green” residential building in lower Manhattan attracts tenants for its indoor air quality, natural light, and stunning views of the Hudson River. The building received a gold rating in April 2004 from the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) program sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council. 
The 27-story Solaire by developer Albanese Organization of Garden City, New York, is specifically designed to consume 35-percent less energy than New York State Energy Code requirements. This goal was driven by local Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) Residential Environmental Guidelines, as well as state tax credits (in 2000, New York introduced the nation’s first green building tax credit). 

To achieve their goal, engineers who designed the Solaire looked specifically for a system with the lowest possible BTU usage to reduce peak electric demand during the summer. Two 400-ton McQuay chillers send chilled (or heated) water to fan coil units located in each apartment. In addition, the chillers use an ozone-safe water-based refrigerant rather than CFC- and HCFC-based refrigerants.

Solaire opens up new view of comfort
River Terrace is an example of how all of a building’s systems - including the HVAC systems - are designed to work together to achieve optimal efficiency. “High-efficiency HVAC products by themselves do not necessarily result in a green system,” said Carol Marriott, applications manager, McQuay.  “Each aspect of the building (i.e. lighting, building envelope, landscape, etc.) is interrelated. That’s why it’s important to take a whole system approach when considering HVAC systems and building sustainability.”
The building’s other energy-efficient innovations include photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight to electricity, compact fluorescent lighting fixtures with daylight dimming and occupancy sensor controls, and highly efficient condensate domestic hot water heaters. Residents enjoy amenities such as fresh air and filtered water to every apartment, extra thick sheetrock between units for added soundproofing, and a rooftop garden complete with a rainwater storage system for irrigation. With its 293 luxury units averaging 1,000 square feet, the Solaire is fast becoming a desirable address in lower Manhattan and opening up a whole new view of comfort. 

McQuay Intl. delivers engineered, flexible solutions for commercial, industrial, and institutional HVAC requirements with reliable products, knowledgeable applications expertise, and responsive support. McQuay products and services are provided through a worldwide network of dedicated sales and service offices. For more information or the name of your local McQuay representative, call (800) 432-1342 or visit

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