The Bronx is greening.
One of the best practices and policies to emerge from the Bronx Borough President’s office is the administration’s fierce commitment to encourage construction of LEED certified buildings and green tech installations.
Now the Bronx can claim yet another first with the largest solar panel installation in New York City.
Jetro Cash & Carry recently expanded its headquarters in the Bronx and now is home to 4,760 solar panels soaking up the sun’s rays and expected to generate 1.6 million kilowatt hours of clean, sustainable energy.
As a lifelong Bronx resident, it’s pretty amazing to watch all these developments and firsts when oftentimes we can be last on the list in so many other areas.
So in honor of our latest accomplishment in sustainability, here’s a small list of some of the firsts in green and LEED certifications in the Bronx.
The first green roof installed on a municipal building in New York City was at the Bronx County Courthouse in 2006. The 10,000 square foot green roof was also the 2nd in the country in a municipal building.
Located in Melrose and completed in October 2009, the Eltona was the first residential building in New York State to receive Platinum LEED certification —the highest level in the program. The building is equipped with 10 windmills which help generate power for the common areas and elevators. It’s also a fully nonsmoking building.
Via Verde is considered by many, the crowning jewel and redefined what affordable housing and sustainable development can look like.
The development is a combination of a residential rental tower and cooperative units in the townhouse section.
Via Verde is adorned with solar panels throughout and many rooftop terraces with vegetable farms, apple orchards just to name some of the features.
Melrose Commons section of Melrose in the Bronx is the first and only LEED certified neighborhood in the entire State of New York and since it received this designation in 2010,it still remains the only one in NYS.
Back in 2009 at the ribbon cutting of the Eltona, it was revealed that 86% of all new green building initiatives were in the Bronx. Not quite sure what those numbers are today, however, all developments such as La Central and several others that have been proposed in Melrose will continue to aim for the highest levels of LEED certification. For example, La Central will dedicate 50% of its roofspace to solar panels and green roofs.
Alfred E Smith HS, also in Melrose, was the first public school with a green roof back in 2010 and just recently the Bronx Design and Construction Academy located within the school won the prestigious Zayed Future Energy Prize for $100,000 beating out several other schools and becoming the ONLY school in the Americas to win the award.
This award will help the school create a research center as well as work towards the installation of solar panels and an off-grid greenhouse.
Scene a Riverdale Country School where student Zachery Halem 18, has installed his "One Small Step"kinetic-energy harvesting tiles which convert kinetic-energy into electricity.They are in a hallway oustide the school lunchroom. Students walk on the tiles Wednesday, January 29th,, 2013 Bronx,,,New York,( Michael Schwartz/ for New York Daily News)
The Riverdale Country School is the only site in the nation with a new technology called kinetic energy tiles. The floor tiles use the energy of footsteps which it then converts into electricity.
These are just but a few of the many developments and projects that are making the Bronx a leader not only in urban renewal but in the green sustainable industry.
This is something we as Bronxites can be very proud of and let the world know how far we’ve come.