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Urbahn Architects

Overview: The George R. Vierno Center is one of ten residential facilities for detainees of the NYC Department of Corrections (DOC) on Rikers Island. This new addition consists of 2 housing buildings and a central administration building, carefully massed to comply with FAA height restrictions for nearby LaGuardia Airport. Each 4-story housing building is outfitted with detainee dormitories, and with two adjacent outdoor recreation porches. The administration building provides for all required inmate programs, visiting, inmate intake & discharge, security, and a large main kitchen.

Sustainable Features: Given the overarching security concerns and stringent operational regimens, it is significant that the DOC is integrating several high-performance features into this, and other upcoming, capital projects. There is a 24-hour demand for energy and other resources, coupled with harsh, weather-exposed site conditions, and yet the DOC expects a 15% improvement in energy use, with a 4.4 year simple payback. Materials were chosen for their recycled and low-emitting characteristics, as well as their durability and ease of maintenance. Located on Rikers Island, New York City. Size: 240,000 gross square feet in a campus setting. Construction cost of $110,000,000. Building completion 2009 (Design commenced 1999).

Client Agencies: NYC Department of Corrections; NYC Department of Design & Construction.


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Sustainable Site

Results
Alternate transportation encouraged
Nighttime light pollution reduced

Strategies
Light-colored, reflective roofing used
Light-colored paving used
Shuttle bus to public transportation provided for staff
Bicycle racks and showers available for staff
Exterior luminaries with cut-off

 
 

Water Efficiency

Results
Potable water use reduced for landscaping

Strategies
Native drought-resistant plants

 
 

Energy

Results
Energy use reduced -15% over a New York Energy Conservation Code
baseline
Annual energy savings of $71,090 (2006 rates)
Payback – 4.4 years simple payback of energy conserving measures
Ozone depletion reduced
System-operations integrated

Strategies
Daylighting for occupied spaces
High-performance lighting
Envelope improved with insulation, insulated metal panels and high-
performance glass
Concrete construction – thermal mass
High-efficiency fans and pump motors
Two-stage absorption chillers
Commissioning of systems

 
 

Material Conservation

Results
Recycled materials used
Local products given preference

Strategies
Major materials targeted for recycled content, including fly-ash in concrete,
steel

 
 

Healthy Interiors

Results
Reduced exposure to toxins, volatile organic compounds, and urea
formaldehyde
Daylight maximized
Views outside maximized
Natural light to all regularly occupied spaces

Strategies
Specifications for low-emitting paints, adhesives, sealants, non-urea-
formaldehyde composite woods
Borrowed lights in all detainee areas and office areas

 


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