Gallery: SNEAK PEEK: See Inside the Delta, NYC’s Very First Self-Powere...

The Delta is made up of two compact futuristic living spaces - a studio apartment and a triplex.
Unveiling a new building in 99 degree weather with no air conditioning doesn't sound ideal - unless, that is, said building is the first one in NYC that can power itself. Dubbed the Delta, the self-sustaining residential property was opened to the press last night by green developers Voltaic Solaire, and the balmy conditions in the city just happened to be the perfect opportunity to showcase its smart design. If you've been following our coverage of the Delta, you know that it is equipped with solar panels and a vertical wind turbine that allow it to meet 100% of its energy needs without tapping into the grid, and yesterday, we also got to experience its effective passive cooling and ventilation on one of the hottest nights of the year. Click through our gallery to see our photos inside the Delta's two compact and cleverly-organized apartments, which will be available for short-term rental starting this August as well some of the building's other super-futuristic technologies. See-through solar panels, anyone?

“If we can develop a building that powers itself, on an unusual trianglular lot in one of the most code-heavy cities in the world, our hope is to serve as a model, and inspire other developers around the world to do the same,” Voltaic Solaire CFO Ron Faia told Inhabitat NYC. “This is a matter of energy independence, of environmental responsibility, and frankly of national security. In the event of a terrorist attack, catastrophic weather or blackouts, a system of decentralized power is the best way to all of these concerns.”

Equipped with a solar roof, a solar skin and a solar awning which yield a combined capacity of 10.3 KW, the Delta is able to generate a large portion of its occupants’ electricity needs. In addition to solar power, the Delta also harnesses the power of the wind with a compact vertical axis wind turbine that generates 600W of power almost soundlessly. Combined, the two technologies are able to make enough energy for the building and even have some left over to send back to the grid.

On our tour yesterday, we also noticed how these functional elements were integrated into the Delta in a way that adds to its aesthetic appeal. The solar panels on the roof double as a shade for residents enjoying the roof deck and the panels that line the sides form a futuristic, glassy facade. We were also captivated by the Delta’s use of transparent vertical building-integrated PV panels, which Faia explained to us is the first ever application of this kind on a residential property.


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1 Comment

  1. BklynGuide July 21, 2012 at 1:05 am

    Excuse me, but as someone who lives in the real world of New York, why would any tenant pay more that minimal rent for an apartment with half a kitchen, an obviously creaky folding stairway, and above all a commanding view of the 24/7 traffic jam known as the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway? The three words every New York real estate agent loves most are “Location, Location, Location.” This site misses on all three points. How does breathing truck fumes all day qualify as “green living”?

    If the developers had really wanted to test their model in New York, they would have sought a site — the Meat-Packing District, for instance — where their investment would have been much larger but the rewards even greater. Get a celebrity to buy a self-sufficient penthouse for several million dollars at a prominent address and your model is proven. (I am assuming luxury finishes and full compliance with the building code.)

    Build an awkward apartment at an undesirable address and you will loose money, building code or no. The only people who would even consider this building are unlikely to meet the landlord’s financial standards. People want a comfortable, pleasant place to live, with peace, clean air, and easy access to public transit. Energy-efficiency is always a great idea, but it’s never a deal-maker.