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New city sanitation complex ticks all the boxes with innovation, energy efficiency and wellness

WXY Architecture + Urban Design announced the opening of the new Department of Sanitation complex in New York City, designed by the Dattner Architects with WXY.
The two unusually innovative public buildings held their official ribbon-cutting earlier this month.

A dynamic facade of moving metal fins and a 1.5-acre planted roof contribute to the super-efficient, LEED Gold operations of the garage-and-office structure.
The project also showcases “active design” principles, promoting health and wellness for sanitation workers.

This project is part of DDC’s Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 Program, led by chief architect Margaret Castillo and executive director Rick Bell and focused on equity, sustainability, resiliency, and design for healthy living.

The Manhattan Districts Garage, at the corner of Spring Street and West Street, houses three district garages for the New York City Department of Sanitation.
Designed by Dattner Architects in association with WXY Architecture + Urban Design, the new 425,000 s/f multi-story building accommodates over 150 sanitation vehicles, personnel facilities for three districts, as well as centralized fueling, truck wash, and repair facilities.

The garage also houses office, locker, and lunch spaces for over 200 staff members.
The design team’s approach to incorporating infrastructure at this prominent location is grounded in a commitment to civic architecture, design excellence and environmental responsibility.

The site is a key gateway to the SoHo neighborhood and overlooks Hudson River Park and the Hudson River. While addressing the sensitivity of the urban context, the design meets the complex functional and technical requirements for a multi-story garage.

A double-skin façade wraps the building, comprising glass curtain wall and 2,600 custom perforated-metal fins that reduce solar heat gain and glare, create a uniform wrapper to obscure views into the facility while allowing views out, and also break down the project’s mass into smaller, rhythmic elements.

At the south-facing Personnel Areas and at the Repair Bays on the west side, the fins are operable and track the sun’s location throughout the day.

A 1.5-acre green roof protects the roof membrane, enhances storm water retention and thermal performance, and softens the view from surrounding buildings. An articulated masonry base, decorative sidewalk and plantings add to the building’s civic character and pedestrian scale.

The project is designed for LEED Gold certification, and is also a benchmark project for New York City’s Active Design program, which promotes the use of architectural design to encourage movement and improved fitness among the facility users.

The 1.5-acre green roof on Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage comprises 13,250 trays with 25 distinct drought-resistant species
2,600 perforated aluminum sunshades form the outer layer of the double-skin façade, filtering natural light into the garage spaces. Each fin is 30 inches wide.
The garage was designed to LEED Gold standards and is a benchmark project for the city’s Active Design program, which promotes health and wellness through design.

The facility is heated and cooled by the local utility Con Edison’s municipal steam service, reducing fossil fuel emissions in the neighborhood.

Harvested rainwater from green roof and collected steam condensate are reused as graywater in the building and for truck washing.
The adjacent Spring Street Salt Shed is designed to hold 5,000 tons of road salt.

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