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January 19, 2018

West Side Sanitation Garage and Salt Shed Project Receives AIA Institute Honor Award for Architecture

Ian Michaels

Long Island City, NY - A prominent project on Manhattan’s West Side has been honored again by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), receiving the group’s prestigious 2018 Institute Honor Award for Architecture. The Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage and Spring Street Salt Shed were described by the AIA as “a dignified example of vital civic architecture.” The project had previously received the AIA’s 2017 Committee on the Environment (COTE) award for environmental sustainability.

The Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage and the Spring Street Salt Shed
The Spring Street Salt Shed stands beside the Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage

The 425,000-square-foot Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage houses three district garages from which local Manhattan Community Board districts 1, 2, and 5 receive garbage collection, street cleaning, and snow removal services. The structure accommodates over 150 Sanitation vehicles and includes facilities for DSNY personnel.

This LEED Gold certified structure, designed by Dattner Architects under the DDC’s Design and Construction Excellence program, boasts sustainable features including a glazed curtain wall façade and 2,600 custom perforated metal fins that reduce solar heat gain and glare while filtering natural light into the space. A 1.5-acre green roof is home to 25 distinct drought-resistant plant species. Harvested rainwater collected from the roof is used as graywater in the building and for truck washing. The building also operates on municipal steam, meaning no fuels burn to heat the structure.

Extensive airflow modeling during design proved that air flow quantities could be reduced by a factor of eight during periods of reduced truck activity, maintaining clean air levels while significantly reducing heating and fan energy, the two greatest end uses of energy in the facility. Steam absorption chillers provide air conditioning in the personnel offices and locker rooms. A 275 kW extracting turbine generator, powered through the step-down process from the high-pressure steam service to the working pressure steam used in the building, further reduces grid loads. Over 41 percent of architectural materials in the garage are composed of recycled content.

The Spring Street Salt Shed was designed to look like the crystalline structure of a salt particle. Underneath, the structure is highly resilient and designed to withstand possible flooding from future storms that may affect the nearby Hudson River. A light color roof paver was chosen for the building to help reduce the heat island effect. 

The garage and salt shed were previously selected by the Municipal Arts Society of New York as the winner of the Society’s 2016 MASterworks Award for Best New BuildingThe New York Times in December 2015 called the buildings “two of the best examples of new public architecture in the City.” The Spring Street Salt Shed has also won the AIA New York Architecture Honor Award; the AIA New York State Design Award for Excellence; the NYC Art Commission Design Award 2011; the Concrete Industry Board (CIB) Roger H. Corbetta Award, Public Works; and the SARA NY Design Award for Sustainability.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to city projects. For more information, please visit