From L-R: Stan Gale Sr., Gale International; Stan Gale Jr., Gale International; Rick Fedrizzi, IWBI and Paul Scialla, Founder of the IWBI

Developer Gale International has achieved the world’s first multi-residential WELL Building Standard certification for its 21W20 Flatiron luxury condominium project in Manhattan, New York.

The project achieved Silver level under the pilot WELL Multifamily Residential Certification tool, based on achievements across seven categories of building performance – air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort and mind.

Specific elements of the 13-dwelling, 15-storey building that contributed to the certification include three-pane laminated glass glazing, MERV 13 air filtration for indoor air quality, water filtration and sound attenuation measures including in-floor acoustic mats.

The development’s design, by Beyer Blinder Belle with interiors by David Mann of MR Architecture + Decor, maximises natural light and passive solar warmth from the southerly orientation by the use of expansive windows and operable glazing to external private terraces.

Living areas include bio-fuel fireplaces, and the materials palette includes natural elements such as stone and timber.

Common facilities include gardens, outdoor dining and entertaining areas, bicycle facilities and a pet washing station.

There is no car parking included in the development, but it is located within walking distance of public transport.

Prices for the full-floor apartments and the four penthouses range from two bedroom apartments from just over US$3.4 million and four bedrooms from over $17.8 million. The majority of the dwellings are already sold.

In addition to WELL certification, the project is pursuing LEED certification.

“Our homes are the most important spaces on earth,” chairman and chief executive of the International WELL Building Institute Rick Fedrizzi said.

“That’s why we’re especially excited that Gale International has become the first WELL Multifamily Residential Certified project in the world, demonstrating in a meaningful way its deep understanding that where we live matters to our health and wellbeing, and its ongoing commitment to sustainable development.

“We congratulate the company and the project team on this significant achievement.”

Gale International is a privately owned international real estate development and investment firm. It currently has active developments valued at close to $60 billion and has delivered more than two million square metres of certified green building space.

“Gale International is very proud to be a standard-bearer for WELL, as we have been with LEED in projects around the world. Now we have the perfect complement in this prestigious certification that recognises the need to enhance the health and wellbeing of those who live, work and play in our real estate,” Gale International New York president Stan Gale Junior said.

Another seriously BIG green development

Gale has since 2002 also been the masterplan developer of the $46.3 billion Songdo International Business District in South Korea in partnership with Posco E&C and the Incheon Free Economic Zone.

The six square kilometres of new city area includes 929,000 square metres of retail space, 3.7 million square metres of commercial space, 3.7 million square metres of residential space, education, recreation and civic buildings, together with 929,000 square metres of public space, pedestrian links, public transport and cycleways.

A full 40 per cent of the city area is green open space, and 1.9 million square metres of the completed building spaces has achieved LEED certification, including an exhibition hall, a school, residential tower and a hotel.

The city has embedded smart infrastructure including a city-wide pneumatic waste disposal system, water recycling and sensors to monitor air quality, environmental indicators and improve security.

The city’s smart and sustainable credentials have already attracted major organisations to base their operations there including the Green Climate Fund, World Bank Korea, Global Green Growth Institute and the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development.

It is also to host the next New Cities Summit in June 2017, which will bring together mayors, business leaders, planners, architects, technology experts and cultural leaders to discuss how cities can become healthy ecosystems that enhance citizens’ quality of life.

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