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Design Consultant: Dattner Architects
Client Agency
Adminstration for Children's Services

Overview: A 1912 Bellevue Hospital building designed by McKim Mead & White became the new Children’s Center for the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). Total renovation and restoration of this landmark created a child-friendly environment and modern facilities for children entering the foster care system or those temporarily without a home. It also houses the Emergency Children’s Services division and the Satterwhite Academy for child welfare training and education. ACS was established in 1996 as the first City agency charged solely with the protection and care of children.

Sustainable Features: Sustainability was a natural partner with this program and building. The Children’s Center needs to create a sense of comfort, safety and well-being, because this often will be the first place a child is taken after being removed from home due to neglect or abuse. The historic building, with its high ceilings, expansive windows and shallow floor plates, allows an abundance of natural light to enter for a cheerful – and energy saving – environment. Natural materials reduce the institutional atmosphere. An emphasis in healthy indoor air quality led to good material choices, increased ventilation and air monitoring.

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Sustainable Site

scale and culture reinforced
Alternate transportation encouraged
Urban Heat Island Effect mitigated

Adapted reuse of historic McKim Mead & White building
Urban setting near public transportation
Light-colored paving used in sidewalk and vehicle drop-off


Water Efficiency

Potable water use reduced
Possible contamination from old piping prevented

Low-flow fixtures, flow restrictors
Water filtration system for possible lead contamination



Energy use reduced - 33% over a baseline NYS energy Conservation Code
Electric energy use reduced - 24% from lighting system plus 14% in related
chiller down-sizing
Annual energy savings $94,000 (1998 dollars)
Emissions reduced - CO2 by 506 tons/year (38%), NOx by 1,529 pounds, SO2 by
1,988 pounds
Payback – 7.6 years simple payback of energy conserving measures
Ozone depletion reduced
System-operations integrated

Daylighting of occupied spaces
High-performance lighting, with daylight and occupancy controls
Light-colored reflective materials
Replacement of historic windows with high-performance, argon gas filled,
nsulating, low-e glazing
Existing envelope improved with foamed-in-place insulation - increased R value
and elimination of thermal bridging
Modular chillers
Con Edison steam for heating
Variable-air-volume system with variable speed drives
Demand-based ventilation controlled by CO2 sensor
Heat recovery from ventilation air and steam condensate
Commissioning of systems


Material Conservation

Historic building adapted, diverting demolition waste from landfill
Salvaged interior demolition materials reused
Recycled materials used
Rapidly renewable products used

Facades, structure, and selected interior components saved. Exterior of building
was completely rehabilitated to historical criteria (terra-cotta, Harvard brick,
limestone, and granite); metal balcony railings restored
Materials targeted for recycled content, including steel, gypsum board, bio-
composite panels of recycled newsprint and soybean binders, bathroom tiles and
partitions, flooring - cork, rubber and linoleum, mineral fiber ceilings


Healthy Interiors

Optimized fresh air quantities
Reduced exposure to toxins, volatile organic compounds, urea formaldehyde
Daylight maximized for all occupants
Views outside maintained
Occupant-controlled lighting, heating and cooling
Building systems and occupants protected from construction contamination

CO2 monitors control fresh air
Air intakes located at roof – away from street-level pollutants
Added light shelves to existing tall windows to bring daylight deeper into the
Floor layout kept open; open work areas at windows and enclosed offices at
nterior with borrowed lights
Air quality management during construction
Specifications for low-emitting paints, flooring, adhesives, sealants, cementitious
spray insulation
Materials that easily absorb contaminants avoided in children’s areas, e.g. carpet
Separate ventilation for interior service areas
Expansive glazing, operable windows and occupant controls for thermal comfort


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