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The Vestry Condominiums Resiliency Program

While managing this luxury development’s LEED program, Brightworks is also managing its resiliency program, helping it comply with New York’s resilience codes, enacted after lower Manhattan was crippled by Hurricane Sandy.

Sitting mere feet from the West Hudson River waterfront, this 155,000-square-foot building will create more than 45 new luxury condominium homes in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan. Since it is required to fulfill the resiliency requirements in New York City’s building code, it will also help New York City prepare for severe natural shocks.

While managing the development’s LEED program, Brightworks is also managing the development’s resiliency program, helping it comply with New York’s resilience codes, enacted after lower Manhattan was crippled by Hurricane Sandy.

New York’s Urban Green is currently evaluating and proposing measures for resiliency in New York. Of those adopted into code through legislation, Brightworks is currently helping the design team evaluate the following; gather and interpret climate and landscape data to understand which of these codes apply to their project; demonstrate necessary compliance via a required checklist; and incorporate them into the design:

– Relocate and Protect Building Systems
– Remove Barriers to Elevating Buildings and Building Systems
– Remove Barriers to Sidewalk Flood Protection
– Safeguard Toxic Materials Stored in Flood Zones
– Prevent Sewage Backflow
– Clarify Construction Requirements in Flood Zones
– Prevent Wind Damage to Existing Buildings
– Analyze Wind Risks
– Capture Stormwater to Prevent Flooding
– Remove Barriers to Backup & Natural Gas Generators
– Add Hookups for Temporary Generators & Boilers
– Keep Gas Stations Open During Blackouts
– Supply Drinking Water Without Power
– Ensure Toilets & Sinks Work Without Power
– Create Emergency Plans

Because the design team is also pursuing LEED certification, part of Brightworks work involves the integration of resiliency measures with LEED certification in order to streamline the sustainability program and ensure that the development’s resiliency measures support the LEED program and vice versa.

Resiliency in Boston, as well

Featured in ULI’s 2015 report “Returns on Resilience: The Business Case”, Gerding Edlen’s waterfront apartment tower at 6 New Street on Boston’s inner harbor features resiliency measures shaped by City of Boston Redevelopment Agency’s Resiliency Policy, spurred by damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

According To the Boston Redevelopment Agency, “The Resiliency Policy, enacted in 2013, requires that all projects consider present and future climate conditions in assessing project environmental impacts, including building long-term integrity, passive survivability, and the safety of inhabitants and for describing actions to mitigate adverse impacts. In particular, given Boston’s vulnerability to sea-level rise and other effects of climate change, projects built today must be ready for and adaptable to reasonably foreseeable changes in environmental conditions. The Resiliency Checklist provides a framework for assessing project impacts and must be completed by all projects.”

Since resiliency is so important in Boston, Brightworks also facilitated a resiliency work session for the development team, featuring Daniel Aldrich, Assistant Professor of Public Policy & Political Science at Northeastern University, who specializes in community resiliency. The work session helped connect the project to work already underway in the City of Boston on the role of social connectivity in resilient design and disaster preparedness.

Its developments “built to last” rather than “built to code,” Gerding Edlen’s investments in resiliency help protect — and achieve a return on — their investment: by investing in flood protection and completing a custom assessment of high-wind potential on the site, the developer saved millions of dollars per year on insurance premiums.

Brightworks is also managing the LEED Gold certification process for the development.

At a Glance

  • New York, NY