Photographer: David Sundberg/Esto (all except the following)Photographer: Ruggero Vanni/Vanni ArchiveVia Verde, a 222-unit affordable housing development on a reclaimed brownfield site in the South Bronx, is designed to achieve LEED Gold and exceed the NYSERDA Multifamily Performance Program and Enterprise Green Communities guidelines for environmental responsibility. Via Verde’s stepped form begins as a 6,000-square-foot ground level courtyard that spirals upwards creating a promenade of social spaces and 34,000 square feet of green roofs that offer active gardening, reduce storm water run-off, and enhance building insulation. For on-site irrigation, rainwater run-off is collected and recycled through an underground concrete cistern and five 180-liter tanks. Photovoltaic panels on the south facing tiers provide 66kw of energy that powers lighting in common areas. The development uses high-efficiency building systems and EnergyStar lighting and appliances, and low-flow fixtures. Enhanced commissioning during construction ensures the design intent was met and that systems were properly installed and balanced. The combined result is 25% energy use reduction.While equipped with central heating, Via Verde is engineered to operate efficiently through passive techniques. The building envelope, a prefabricated rain screen panel system, provides a sealed, well-insulated, “breathing” enclosure and sunshades diffuse direct solar radiation. Large low-E glass windows—typically on two exposures to promote cross-ventilation—reflect solar energy and provide abundant daylighting, while ceiling fans and operable windows reduce the need for air conditioning. Natural lighting in stairwells promotes a sense of safety and encourages use as part of NYC’s Active Design program. Residents are educated on the building's green energy features in order to promote energy optimization and sustainable living. Additional strategies in apartments include individual thermostatic control of hot water heating and energy meters showing electric consumption. A display in the main lobby shows energy statistics, such as the solar panel outputs in real time. The combined effort champions sustainable affordable housing and healthy living.Team includes:Owner/Developer: Jonathan Rose CompaniesOwner/Developer: The Phipps Houses Group Consultants include additionally:MEP Engineering - Ettinger Engineering AssociatesCivil Engineering - Langan Engineering and Environmental ServicesGeotechnical Engineering - Pillori AssociatesExterior Wall Consultant - Front Inc.Solar Consultant - Bright PowerSpecifications - Robert Schwartz AssociatesExpeditor - William Vitacco Associates ContractorLettire Construction. Via Verde–The Green Way has achieved LEED NC Gold certification.