The Real Deal New York

For Earth Day, a look back at some of the best green building designs

April 22, 2017 04:00PM

It’s Earth Day, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate across the city. But while we’ve got you here, why not have a look back at some the most interesting green developments out there?

1. A proposed vertical farm on the High Line

This mixed-use concept at the Rem Koolhaas parcel at 511 West 18th Street would include residences, an art gallery and the kicker: 10 levels of indoor farming terraces. You can read more about the project here.

2. A “net-zero” public school

In 2015, city built a 444-seat Staten Island elementary school that runs solely on the energy it produces, in a project the developer calls a “laboratory for ideas for future construction.” Learn more here. 

3.  Green architecture

The infamous New York architect Robert Scarano, once banned from building in NYC after making false statements to the city to dodge zoning laws, is back and now he is building green. In 2014, his Brighton Beach project attempted to become the first multifamily structure to score a Living Building certification.

4. Hipster farmers

Eight floors above the ground at Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn, workers at the condo building at 550 Vanderbilt Avenue are installing plots of soil on a south-facing terrace. The plots will allow residents to grow their own vegetables.

5. Design for modular green skyscraper wins competition 

A conceptual high-rise intended for use in sub-Saharan Africa would taking farming vertical and help eliminate hunger. Now, the architects behind the tower, Pawel Lipiński and Mateusz Frankowski, have won the the eVolo Skyscraper Competition for their design. Check it out here. 

6. A Parisian garden on top of an old car plant

Parc André Citroën opened for public use in 1992 and was built atop the old André Citroën car manufacturing plant, which functioned from 1915 to 1970. A large lawn anchors the park, while smaller structures like gardens, greenhouses, and meditative spaces act as the park’s border. It’s really beautiful as well. 

7. A wooden skyscraper in London

London Mayor Boris Johnson just received a proposal to solve London’s eco-crisis: an 80-story eco-friendly skyscraper made of wood. The project would house hundreds of units of low-cost housing while becoming the second-tallest building in London behind the Shard.

8. A sustainable home within a greenhouse

Stockholm residents Marie Granmar and Charles Sacilotto live in what they call Naturhus – an environmentally friendly house built within a functioning greenhouse.