2013 Recipient | AIA/HUD Secretary's Awards

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Via Verde - The Green Way | Notes of Interest

Via Verde is a new model for public housing in New York City. The project was carefully crafted to accommodate the scale of the existing neighborhood and adjacent housing while adding both housing and green space to a brownfield site in the South Bronx. The project is on track to receive LEED® Gold certification.

The main entrance lies in middle of the building, flanked by live-work units to the right and a clinic and retail space, including a local pharmacy, to the left. The main street-facing façade shows off the building’s high-performance rain screen of composite wood, cement, and metal panels that were prefabricated off-site before installation.

Landscaped green roofs and a central courtyard create 40,000 square feet of open space. Residents can grow their own fruits and vegetables as well as enjoy the evergreen grove and fruit orchard. In addition, photovoltaic panels are integrated into the south-facing areas of the project, providing enough energy to power all common areas and exterior lighting. Rainwater is collected on-site and recycled for irrigation of the gardens throughout the year. In support of the Department of Health’s Fit City initiative to promote physical fitness, stairs are located near elevators and are designed as colorful interior spaces with natural light and ventilation.

In addition to the high-performance building envelope, operable, high-performance windows, ceiling fans, and exterior solar shades provide residents with natural ventilation, heat deflection (in summer), and heat retention (in winter). Ninety percent of the apartments have two exterior facades, which allow for optimal cross-ventilation and daylight. Other energy-saving features include low-flow toilets, showers, and sinks and high-efficiency Energy Star lighting and appliances.

Additional Credit

  • Competition Sponsors: New Housing New York; AIA New York; New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development; NYS Energy Research and Development Authority and Enterprise Community Partners
  • Consultant – Code: William Vitacco Associates
  • Consultant – Exterior Wall: Front Inc.
  • Consultant – LEED/NYSERDA: Association For Energy Affordability
  • Consultant – Solar: Bright Power
  • Contractor: Lettire Construction
  • Engineering – Civil: Langan Engineering and Environmental Services
  • Engineering – Geotechnical: Pillori Associates
  • Engineering – MEP: Ettinger Engineering Associates
  • Engineering – Structural: Robert Silman Associates
  • Landscape Architecture: Lee Weintraub Landscape Architecture
  • Lighting Design: Domingo Gonzalez Associates
  • Specifications: Robert Schwartz Associates

Photo Credit

  • © John Hill
  • © David Sundberg/Esto

Via Verde - The Green Way

Category One: Excellence in Affordable Housing Design Award

Jury Comments

This project is a real stand out—transformative on a grand scale.

The diversity of living spaces and the generous public spaces just set it apart from other projects.

2013 AIA/HUD Secretary's Awards Jury

  • Kathleen Dorgan, AIA, Chair
  • Dorgan Architecture & Planning
  • Storrs, Connecticut
  • Luis Borray, Assoc. AIA
  • U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Elizabeth A. Cocke
  • U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
  • Washington, D.C.
  • John Isch, AIA
  • RWA Architects, Inc.
  • Cincinnati
  • R. Thomas Jones, AIA
  • California Polytechnic State University
  • San Luis Obispo, California
  • Stephen Sharpe, Hon. AIA
  • Austin, Texas
  • Charles L. Travis, AIA
  • The Housing Studio, P.A.
  • Charlotte

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