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The Solaire, at 20 River Terrace in Battery Park City.
On September 5, 2003, Governor George E. Pataki dedicated the nation's first “green” residential high-rise building:

Engrafics was contracted to provide comprehensive signage services for the Solaire. Ranging from directional and regulatory signage to building identification signs. Engrafics successfully executed the signage program in line with the architect’s specifications using the highest quality products and components.

The Solaire

Engrafics The 27-story, 293-unit building was the first to be built under the Battery Park City Authority's groundbreaking Residential Environmental Guidelines. These “Green Guidelines” were developed in 1999 as a result of Governor Pataki's vision for the construction of environmentally responsible buildings in New York State.

The Solaire was also the first beneficiary of Governor Pataki's innovative Green Building Tax Credit, which allows building owners and developers to deduct expenses associated with the design and construction of “green” buildings, and has been a driving force behind the wave of “green” construction that has ensued.

In January 2000, the Authority issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the development of site 18A in Battery Park City. In addition to meeting financial criteria and adhering to design guidelines, developers would now be required to fully comply with the Green Guidelines, addressing five major areas of concern: enhanced indoor air quality; water conservation and purification; energy efficiency; recycling construction waste & the use of recycled building materials; and commissioning to ensure building performance.

Nine top developers responded to the RFP, but after careful consideration, the Authority selected the outstanding proposal submitted by the Albanese Organization. Russell Albanese had partnered with Rafael Pelli of Cesar Pelli & Associates Architects to present their ideas on sustainable development for the site. Each had been thinking about the concept for a time, and both were fascinated by the far-reaching implications of the Green Guidelines.

The design challenges presented by a green building demanded that the team work more closely from the very start to meet the goal of producing a unified, integrated design, as opposed to a collection of independent ideas and systems. The Authority was part of this team from the outset, and took a more active role than usual in the planning, design and construction of the building.

This cohesive approach allowed the design team to anticipate and modify features before they left the drawing board, and was especially valuable with regard to decisions on systems and concepts that were unfamiliar to most members of the team, such as the wastewater reuse system, placement of the photovoltaic panels, and techniques to maximize energy efficiency.

The Solaire website

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