General Colin L. Powell Apartments, South Bronx

Read about this new seven-story green building, built for the community.

The green roof on the Colin Powell Apartments has many green benefits: eliminates storm run-off, insulates the building to keep it warmer in winter and cooler in summer, and lowers the roof's temperature, thus, reducing the heat island effect. . Photo: From Bob Vila's Building Green

The South Bronx
The South Bronx’s reputation conjures up violent street life in the shadow of menacing apartment towers. Blue Sea Development Company, in cooperation with Habitat-NYC, is working to change that. Together they built a 7-story cooperative apartment building.  There are 50 apartments of which 8 are reserved for Habitat-NYC families. The building is named in honor of General Colin L. Powell, who grew up in the neighborhood.

Going Green and Saving Money
The building brings healthy living within reach of low-income families. It has energy efficient appliances and boilers and was built with non-toxic and sustainable materials. The building has a platinum LEED rating and is the greenest affordable housing unit in New York State.  Residents are estimated to be able to save at least 30% on their utility bills.

The building is healthy in other ways, too.  There are community rooms and rooftop recreation space. The apartments have big windows that look out onto a tree-planted street. 

Bringing the Bronx Back to its Green Roots
The Bronx was for many years a country getaway.  The area north of Manhattan was a patchwork of farms and estates.  Invalids were sent there for the salubrious air. While two large parks testify to its rural heritage, the Bronx was densely developed in the 20th century. The General Colin L. Powell Apartments reclaim some of the green space.