Green is getting greener. And New Haven, Conn.’s latest mixed-use, mixed-income development, 360 State Street, is no exception. The 32-story, 500-unit, LEED Platinum-certified building, near Yale University, is the first large-scale residential building to be constructed with a 400-kilowatt fuel cell. The fuel cell—a renewable, combustion-free power source—will provide nearly 100 percent of the building’s electricity needs, plus provide thermal energy for space heating, hot water, and a swimming pool. The fuel cell also will reduce the building’s annual carbon footprint by 50 percent.
“Traditionally, large-capacity fuel cells have been utilized at schools, hospitals, and other energy-intensive facilities,” says Bruce Redman Becker, president of Becker + Becker Associates, an architecture, planning, and development firm in Fairfield, Conn., which designed and developed 360 State Street. But Becker decided a large multifamily building was also ripe for the cell’s efficient application.
To prove out this efficiency, a Web portal tracks, in real time, the building’s use of electric, natural gas, renewable energy, and water consumption. Residents also will be able to see reports on their personal energy consumption. Another advantage will be that the building can reduce demand quickly if a brownout occurs, Becker says.
Other sustainable building features include solar roof panels, windows that minimize heat gain, irrigation that reuses harvested rainwater, and a staggered truss system that reduces steel use. The building’s location is transit-friendly, with proximity to the State Street commuter line, several Connecticut Transit bus stops, and the Yale campus.
Prior to its August opening, 27 percent of the units, which range from studios to three-bedroom apartments, had been leased. Prices for the 450 market-rate apartments run from $1,150 to $5,000; rents at the 50 affordable units start at $900. The building’s ground level features 30,000 square feet of retail space for a supermarket and bicycle shop, both of which have been leased.
And the project has municipal support. “This is the future of development,” says Mayor John Destefano Jr. “We are committed to making New Haven a cleaner, greener place.”