An article this week in The New York Post profiled a couple who purportedly have "the greenest apartment in New York City." That had me intrigued: what does an apartment have to look like to hold that title? What do the owners have to do do/buy/achieve for such a standard? For my part, I had a few guesses as to what would be on such a list. Do you think you know? Jump below to find out:
In the case of Jesse and Amanda Glickenhaus, the way to get "the greenest apartment in New York City" is to do the following:
Start With: an ample budget (their three-bedroom, 1,700-square-foot condo cost around $1,850 per square foot) and the ability to buy an apartment in the Visionaire, a LEED-certified platinum condo building in New York. The Visionaire was constructed with the following green amenities:
- A fresh air filtration system
- A central water filtration system
- No or low VOC paints, sealants, and finishes
- Mold-resistant sheetrock
- Low-e glazed windows
- Super tight insulation
- Fluorescent, LED, and low-wattage halogen lights
- A micro turbine system with heat recovery technology to generate a portion of the building's electricity
- High-efficiency pumps and variable speed motors to conserve electric use
- Natural gas powered central heating and cooling
- Occupancy sensors and timers
- Energy Star sub-zero refrigerators and water-conserving Asko washers and dryers
- Photovoltaic panels on the roof
- A rainwater harvesting system and a rooftop garden
- At least 50% of all building materials contain some sort of recycled content
- Bamboo and grass cloth cabinetry and wall coverings
- FSC-certified wood
- Dual-flush toilets
- Bamboo kitchen cabinets
- Recycled glass bathroom tiles
Hire: an eco-friendly interior designer. In this case, Robin Wilson of Robin Wilson Home.
Add: eco-conscious furniture from the likes of Ligne Roset, Holly Hunt, Maurice Villency, Room and Board, and ABC Home. Examples: ottomans made out of canvas recycled from fair trade coffee bags, vegetable-tanned leather chairs, coasters and picture frames made out of recycled magazines, and plants, pillows and a hand-woven carpets from India made out of nontoxic vegetable dyes.
Upon reading that, I realized I could react in one of two ways:
- "Sure, anything is possible if you have enough money, but that doesn't help or encourage little ol' me in any way!" or
- "Wow. Inspiring. I'm going to file this list away for my future aspirational home, and in the meantime, I'll do my best to take what they did and apply it to my home life today."
What do you think?
(Image: A photo from an apartment in The Visionaire, since an actual apartment photo from the homeowners referred to in this article was not available.)