We’ve written before about Brighton Beach’s Bright ‘N Green development, a sustainable residential development with state-of-the-art green design.
No one has bought one yet, but the building has drawn the eyes of environmentalists, who are praising it for its net positive design, meaning it will actually sell energy back into the grid. It also has a number of other features, like an independent sewage system that composts human waste for the gardens outside, massive solar panels, sustainable and recycled materials and more – while not sacrificing luxury.
The features have earned it certification for LEED, EPA, four Green Globes and other honors for environmental design. It’s currently in the running for Living Building certification, the most extreme building standard in the nation, and if it earns it Bright ‘N Green will be the first multifamily development in the country to do so.
But while such things might normally attract endless chatter in the design and environmental cliques, it’s the developer himself who has tongues wagging.
As we’ve noted before, Robert Scarano isn’t the most reputable character in New York City real estate. A decade ago, the architect was banned by the Department of Buildings for submitting false and misleading paperwork, and he spurred a crackdown on and reforms of the self-certification process. He became the poster child for abuses in over-development and the Building Department’s lax oversight.
The Daily News recently toured the development with Scarano, and depicted him as a brash egomaniac determined to reinvent himself as an eco-warrior.
Here are a few choice quotes from the piece:
- “The air in this building is better than the air in a Columbia-Presbyterian surgical suite,” Scarano boasted on a recent tour. “The water is like if you put a spoon in the Catskill reserves.”
- “It’ll look like that National Geographic documentary about what would happen if the people left and all the plants took over,” Scarano joked. “It’s totally different than the projects I used to do.”
- Scarano said the hullaballoo was merely a matter of interpretation of the zoning law … “Quite frankly, I said I did nothing wrong, but I guess I must have done something wrong to be vilified like that,” Scarano says today.
- With that gleam in his eye, Scarano is proud to show off [the sewage composting] technology, opening the lid and declaring, “That’s the worker doo-doo by the way.” Next, in a moment of TMI, he declares: “I got the honor of christening it!
With the units having been on the market for five months without a sale (and, in fact, an increase in price), we’ll be keeping an eye on these units in an area less than well known for environmental consciousness. And once people move in, we’re eager to find out just how well those systems hold up.