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.
The third floor of the triplex is very unusual – it’s a combined bathroom/bedroom.
Inside, the Delta is actually set up as two separate homes. A 345 sq. ft. studio apartment with a combined kitchen, sleeping area and dining area occupies the second floor and the third, fourth and fifth floors comprise a triplex residence. For more photos and details of the interiors, which have been hooked up with transforming furniture, recycled materials, IKEA furniture, Samsung electronics, Sharp appliances, and lots built-in storage, click through our photo gallery.
If you’re interested in seeing what its like to live in NYC’s first self-powered home, you’ll have the opportunity to do so starting next month, when it will be opened as a bed and breakfast to showcase Voltaic Solaire’s ethos of philanthropy and sustainability. “The units will be available late-August for daily rental, at the rate of $150-200 for the studio and $275-350 for the triplex,” Mark Robinson, COO of Voltaic Solaire, told us.
For more photos of the Delta’s interior finishes, power-generating tech and views of downtown Manhattan, don’t forget to click through our photo gallery.
Photos © Yuka Yoneda