Viridian Future 1

Aiming to be not just the most environmentally sustainable townhouse in Manhattan, but a net zero energy home.

Successes and Slip-ups

First the success, then the slip-up.

This photo shows the fifth floor front, with windows to match the third floor, and the start of construction of the cantilevered roof, which will extend forward to the lower building line. It is already looking dramatic, and will be spectacular once completed. It both increases the available area for solar panels, and provides a unique architectural feature. I know that some will hate it and some will love it. I am firmly in the latter camp.

And as for the slip-up?

Well we had not only aimed for the Materials Petal of the Living Building Challenge, but, for our own goals, had intended that all the wood in the building would be FSC (certified by the Forest Stewardship Council), in other words, would come from sustainably managed forests. Four days ago we noticed that the stamp on the wood of the SIPs wasnt FSC, but was SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative). This standard was created by the owners of the forest products industry, rather than by a wide range of stake holders, and, whilst a tree is planted for every tree that is felled, it is a lower standard.

This obviously does not mean that the wood in our SIPS has been logged without consideration of the environmental impact,  and, due to the quantity of FSC wood in our project, it does not prevent us reaching the LEED standard (which requires a percentage to be FSC), but we missed our own standard, due to our inexperience, and that of our contractor, by not specifying that the wood be FSC.

We are saddened by this slip, and it means we are not eligible for the Living Building Challenge Materials Petal, but this is all part of the striving that this project embodies. Hopefully others will learn from our mistake and know that, even if the manufacturers website says they provide SIPs with FSC wood, they must be asked specifically to ensure this order is so fulfilled.

Meanwhile, we press ahead installing the SIPs that make up the roof, and we will soon be weather tight for the winter.

Web Design by Abel B'Hahn, with grateful thanks to The Story of Us | VIRIDIAN FUTURE 1 | New York, New York, USA