May 23, 2016

All that glitters is not gold…sometimes it’s platinum!


BKSK is pleased to announce our three most recently LEED certified projects – two gold and one platinum! Certainly, we are very proud of our work. We also want to praise these project’s clients for their commitment to the environmental options that made sense for each building. Sustainable design, like any good design, is the result of productive partnerships and open, candid conversations.

We will continue to push for a firm-wide sense of innovation that integrates sustainability into the core of our designs. Our Queens Botanical Garden Visitor Center was NYC’s first civic building to earn a LEED Platinum certification. Going forward, we intend to keep raising the bar. 

The Jefferson

The Jefferson
This 83-unit multi-family building received a LEED Gold certification, in part due to stormwater credits, a rare accomplishment in an urban setting. This involved the use of a blue roof to detain water for up to 24 hours, reducing overflow in the city’s drainage system (think rooftop bathtub); and a centrifugal action sediment separator that filters stormwater before it enters the municipal sewer system. Other features include reflective rooftop pavers and a shared 1,853 sf roof garden fit with plants that contribute to the mitigation of the heat island effect. The use of regional materials, the reduction of construction waste, and green power diversion all further contribute to the building operating as an urban steward.


PoST- Convent of the Sacred Heart

Convent of the Sacred Heart Athletics & Wellness Center
A host of sustainable design strategies support the center’s operations as well as the health and comfort of its users. Solar hot water panels, a cooling tower supplied with water from rooftop retention tanks, high performance windows, and a pool dehumidification heat recovery system all contribute to comfortable air and water temperatures while minimizing the consumption of nonrenewable resources. Automated lighting controls, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and high-efficiency mechanical equipment further reduce the environmental impact of the athletics center, a building type with traditionally high resource needs – all of which played a role in achieving a LEED Gold certification.


PoST- Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park House
The building was designed to have a small footprint, both architecturally and environmentally. Its systems include a solar panel array and ground-source heat pumps that eliminate visual distraction and noise pollution from equipment for park users. Further minimizing any sense of intrusiveness, the building’s single-story form adheres to the subtle curvature of the pathway and is composed of natural materials. The structure’s energy demand on the city’s electric grid is virtually nil, helping to realize a LEED Platinum certification.

To read more about how civic buildings can support the city’s move toward carbon neutrality, check out our case study on the Washington Square Park House here.

Our commitment runs even deeper, as BKSK is one of 21 Manhattan-based firms to adopt the Architecture 2030 Challenge – a professional commitment to design buildings that consume less energy with the goal of achieving net-zero consumption by 2030.
Visit our research LAB at
photos: Jeffrey Totaro (Washington Square Park), Raimund Koch (Convent of the Sacred Heart), and Jonathan Wallen (The Jefferson).