Nine Projects in Buildings of Excellence Competition Advance Replicable New Construction and Low-Carbon Retrofit Solutions for Multifamily Buildings

April 2, 2024

Governor Kathy Hochul today awarded $8 million to nine projects through the fourth round of the $58 million Buildings of Excellence Competition, which aims to advance zero-carbon multifamily buildings in New York. In addition to these awards for demonstration projects, Governor Hochul announced $2 million for Early Design Support to help ensure the most cost-effective low carbon solutions are integrated into projects from the start of design. The Competition is integral to accelerating the state’s progress toward the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050 and the Governor’s goal to develop two million climate-friendly homes.

“New York continues to lead the way in delivering clean, safe and affordable housing developments,” Governor Hochul said. “The projects awarded today add to a statewide portfolio that is providing a critical blueprint for building owners to follow in shrinking their carbon footprint.”

Today's announcement was made during an awards ceremony held at the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIA NY) Center for Architecture in New York City. Launched in 2019, this Competition is the only one of its kind in the nation and is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to provide financial incentives and recognition for the design, construction, and operation of zero-carbon emitting buildings. The Competition prioritizes housing and energy affordability, supporting the Climate Act's goal to ensure that at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of the benefits of clean energy investments support disadvantaged communities. With these awards, NYSERDA has awarded a total of 65 state-of-the-art new construction and gut-renovation projects through the Competition, and more than two-thirds of these high-performing new construction buildings serve affordable housing markets with 37 being located in disadvantaged communities.

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Addressing harmful carbon emissions in our building sector is a cornerstone of Governor Hochul’s nation-leading climate agenda. These winning projects demonstrate tremendous progress in low-carbon building design that sets a new standard for environmentally friendly construction and operation. By working with our industry partners to develop turnkey solutions and designs, it will move us one step closer to achieving the State's clean energy goals and we congratulate all of today's winners for their exemplary projects.”

Competition applicants were required to demonstrate cost-effective, low-carbon or carbon-neutral designs that are profitable for developers, offer predictable revenue and costs, and provide a competitive edge, while simultaneously creating a comfortable, healthy, and affordable space for building occupants. The winning projects are also required to provide comprehensive data on design, construction and cost that can be analyzed and shared to increase the number of low- to zero-carbon buildings in New York State.

Highlights of today’s awarded demonstration projects include:

  1.  Affordable Housing: Eight of the nine buildings to be constructed will serve low-to-moderate income customers; seven of the nine awarded projects will serve disadvantaged communities.
  2. Zero Emissions/Carbon Neutral Ready: 100 percent of projects are zero emissions and carbon neutral ready, meaning they are highly efficient with no use of fossil fuel combustion on site for daily operations.
  3. Passive House Standard: All projects are committed to a Passive House standard, meaning design and construction will be executed to extremely energy efficient standards, while also achieving very high levels of comfort, health and resiliency for the occupants in the building.
  4. Solar Energy Inclusion: Seven projects incorporate solar generation, with one including energy storage.

Buildings of Excellence Round Four Awardees are:

Capital Region: $1 million

1. Livingston Apartments Phase II, 317 Northern Boulevard, Albany, NY ***

Building Type: Low to moderate income residential

Standards: Designed to meet Passive House standards

Developer: Soldier On and Winn Development

Designer: SWBR


Mid-Hudson: $124,000

1. North Miller Passive II, 193 North Miller Street, Newburgh, NY*

Building Type: Low to moderate income residential

Standards: Designed to meet Passive House standards

Developer: Stephen Taya Property Development

Designer: Northeast Projects


New York City: $6.9 million (seven projects)

1. 247 E. 117th Street, New York, NY *

Building Type: Market rate residential

Standards: Designed to meet Passive House standards

Developer: 247 E 117th Street LLC

Designer: AOSM Architecture, DPC


2. 819 Grand, 819 Grand Street, New York, NY *

Building Type: Mixed use commercial and low to moderate income residential

Standards: Designed to meet Passive House and Enterprise Green Communities standards

Developer: St Nicks Alliance

Designer: Curtis + Ginsberg


3. Arverne East – Building D, 116 Beach 26th Street, Queens, NY *

Building Type: Mixed use commercial and low to moderate income residential

Standards: Designed to meet Passive House and Enterprise Green Communities standards

Developer: L&M Development Partners

Designer: FXCollaborative Architects LLP


4. The Beacon, 413 East 120th Street, New York, NY *

Building Type: Low to moderate income residential

Standards: Designed to meet Passive House and Enterprise Green Communities standards

Developer: The Community Builders Inc and Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corp.

Designer: Paul A Castrucci Architects


5. Carmen Villegas Apartments (CVA), 101 E. 110th Street, New York, NY ***

Building Type: Mixed use commercial and low to moderate income residential Standards: Designed to meet Passive House and Enterprise Green Communities standards

Developer: Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corp., Urban Builders Collective, and Xylem Projects

Designer: Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP)


6. Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Plaza, 52 W. 116th Steet, New York, NY **

Building Type: Mixed use commercial and low to moderate income residential

Standards: Designed to meet Passive House and Enterprise Green Communities standards

Developer: Malcolm Shabazz Development Corporation

Designer: Ettinger Engineering Associates


7. Three Arts, 340 West 85th Street, New York, NY **

Building Type: Low to moderate income residential

Standards: Designed to meet Passive House and Enterprise Green Communities standards

Developer: West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing

Designer: Curtis + Ginsberg Architects


* Project is BOE winner located in a disadvantaged community (DAC)

** Project is BOE winner and a Blue Ribbon for Design Excellence winner.

*** Project is BOE and Blue Ribbon for Design winner while also located in a DAC.

For a complete list of all Buildings of Excellence awarded projects, please visit NYSERDA's website.

Additionally, the funding issued today as part of the overall $2 million Early Design Support component provide critical technical assistance on a project-by-project basis to the firms advancing multifamily building design in order to meet or exceed future code requirements, achieve high performance, and maximize occupant health and comfort.

Early Design Support projects are:

New York City

  1. CVA+Casita****: Magnusson Architecture & Planning PC - New York, NY
  2. Three Arts****: Curtis + Ginsberg Architects - New York, NY
  3. Shore Hill Development ****: Curtis + Ginsberg Architects - Brooklyn, NY
  4. The Beacon****: Paul A. Castrucci Architects - New York, NY
  5. Sol on Park: Magnusson Architecture & Planning PC - New York, NY

Capital District

  1. 1818 Fifth Ave Passive House****: Sustainable Comfort Inc. - Troy, NY
  2. The Lafayette****: Sustainable Comfort Inc. – Schenectady, NY

Central New York

  1. Syracuse Bread Factory: Taitem Engineering - Syracuse, NY

Mohawk Valley

  1. Bank Lofts: River Architects – Richfield Springs, NY
  2. EcoFlats at Log City****: Black Mountain Architecture - Amsterdam, NY

Southern Tier

  1. Inlet Island: Sustainable Comfort Inc. – Ithaca, NY

**** Project is also a current or previous Buildings of Excellence demonstration project awardee.

All of the Early Design Support projects located in New York City and the Southern Tier deliver low- to moderate-incoming (LMI) housing while the remaining projects deliver market rate housing.

New York State Public Service Commission Chair Rory M. Christian said, “Reducing carbon emissions from our building stock is an important component of our initiative to create a clean economy. Congratulations to all of our partners in this program for a job well done.”

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Through the Buildings of Excellence competition, the State is helping to build a cleaner, greener future for all New Yorkers. These nine awarded projects exemplify our dedication to the creation of zero-carbon multifamily buildings in communities across the State and our commitment to meeting our ambitious climate goals outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Thank you to Governor Hochul and NYSERDA for their leadership as New York continues to set the standard for environmentally responsible development, proving that sustainability and affordability can go hand in hand.”

State Senator Kevin Parker said, “We know buildings are one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in New York State. NYSERDA's 4th annual Buildings of Excellence Competition is an example of how we can achieve our Climate Act goals, specifically in disadvantaged communities, through projects that reduce emissions in buildings while delivering benefits to New Yorkers living in affordable housing.”

Assemblymember Didi Barrett said, “As a longtime advocate for housing that is both energy-efficient and affordable, I am pleased to see that an additional $8 million has been awarded through this fourth round of the Building of Excellence Competition. Replicable cost-effective, zero-emission projects like these are vital in helping New York State reach our ambitious climate goals.”

Assemblymember Deborah Glick said, “New York continues to lead on support for environmentally sound development by creating competitive grants linked to innovation. The awardees are demonstrating that our Climate Act goals are achievable and that they encourage developers to invest in projects that are focused both on affordable housing and zero carbon design. I applaud Governor Hochul and NYSERDA President Doreen Harris for their strong commitment to reducing pollution and our dependence on fossil fuels, and working toward reaching our climate goals.”

AIA NYS President Willy Zambrano said, “The Buildings of Excellence competition, aligned with AIANYS' mission, underscores the critical role of architectural innovation in mitigating carbon emissions within the built environment. By promoting sustainable design solutions, AIANYS, in partnership with NYSERDA, is advancing efforts to combat climate change while simultaneously addressing the imperative for inclusive housing options across New York State.”

AIA NY Executive Director Jesse Lazar said, “AIA New York is very proud to have partnered alongside NYSERDA since the launch of its Buildings of Excellence program, which is playing a vital role in making carbon-neutral, zero-emission housing accessible across our state. Buildings of Excellence directly addresses some of our biggest challenges as a community deeply invested in the future of our built environment. The projects awarded in Round 4 are change makers on several levels, offering models and design solutions that help guide us towards a measurably better life, spent in buildings that are healthier, more affordable, and more resilient.”

FAIA, AIA National 2023-2025 at-large Director, 2021 AIA NYS President, founding principal of +LAB architect PLLC and Assoc. Professor, New York City College of Technology (CUNY) Illya Azaroff said, “These projects recognized and awarded through the buildings of excellence challenge are a testament to the positive effect we can have guiding our communities to a better future. By Advancing High-performance, environmentally conscious designs that build equity, we demonstrate that we can be the change we want to see in the world if we work together. Furthermore, these projects embody a framework for design excellence that meets the challenges of climate change and is the hallmark of this program.”

Architectural League of New York Executive Director Jacob Moore said, “Once again, NYSERDA's Buildings of Excellence program is catalyzing, supporting, and spotlighting projects by designers and developers who are committed to the creation of a more resilient, low-carbon future for New Yorkers. The Architectural League is proud to work closely with NYSERDA to make overall design quality – including careful integration into neighborhoods; strong connections to community assets, both on site and nearby; and a prioritization of health, comfort, and aesthetic delight – an essential part of the evaluation for Buildings of Excellence projects.”

Steven Winter Associates Director of Passive House Lois Arena said, “Buildings of Excellence projects are the first of their kind. All the demonstration projects awarded in this round have committed to Passive House certification – they’re building technical capacity and promoting broader market adoption of Passive House certification within NYS.”

NYSERDA expects to launch Round Five of the Competition in the coming months for early-stage design project proposals from developers and their design teams that integrate carbon neutral features into pre-schematic and schematic design phases and lead to the cost-effective construction and completion of exemplary multi-family buildings.

Today’s announcement complements New York’s ongoing investments to modernize the State’s building stock. Buildings are one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in New York State, and integrating energy efficiency and electrification measures in existing buildings will reduce carbon pollution and help achieve healthier and more comfortable buildings. Through NYSERDA and utility programs, over $6.8 billion is being invested to decarbonize buildings to achieve the State's goals, including NYSERDA's more than $150 million investment in new construction, adaptive reuse, and gut rehab projects in the multifamily building sector for both market rate and low- to moderate-income properties.

Funding for this program is provided through the State's Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and $6 billion Clean Energy Fund. More information about the Competition and associated funding can be found on NYSERDA's website.

New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan

New York State's climate agenda calls for an orderly and just transition that creates family-sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors and ensures that at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities. Guided by some of the nation’s most aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives, New York is advancing a suite of efforts – including the New York Cap-and-Invest program (NYCI) and other complementary policies – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels. New York is also on a path to achieving a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and economywide carbon neutrality by mid-century. A cornerstone of this transition is New York's unprecedented clean energy investments, including more than $40 billion in 64 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the State, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $3.3 billion to scale up solar, nearly $3 billion for clean transportation initiatives and over $2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. These and other investments are supporting more than 170,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector as of 2022 and over 3,000 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, New York also adopted zero-emission vehicle regulations, including requiring all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold in the State be zero emission by 2035. Partnerships are continuing to advance New York’s climate action with more than 400 registered and more than 130 certified Climate Smart Communities, nearly 500 Clean Energy Communities, and the State’s largest community air monitoring initiative in 10 disadvantaged communities across the State to help target air pollution and combat climate change.