Battery Park City Authority Guidelines

Improving the urban experience


Beginning in 1999, Bob Fox and Bill Browning led a team that created comprehensive Residential, Commercial, and Institutional Environmental Guidelines for Battery Park City, a 92 acre planned community on the west side of Lower Manhattan. Visionary in their ideas about urban sustainability, the guidelines have provided a foundation for many innovative environmental concepts, and are projected to result in 5 million square feet of LEED Gold or Platinum buildings – likely the densest concentration of green buildings in the world. Bob Fox and Bill Browning worked with The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA), other architects, developers, and contractors to set a new “green” standard, based on a very early version of the LEED Rating System but tailored to the environmental and political climate of New York City. The guidelines became a local model for healthy, ecologically responsible environments and are responsible for the creation of the first “green” residential tower in the United States, The Solaire.

Five major categories frame requirements that each share a common environmental goal. Energy Efficiency standards included a high-performance building envelope, thermal energy recovery, on-site power generation, and reduced energy cost. Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) standards focus on maximizing access to daylight and outdoor views while creating interior air that is superior to the exterior. Material and Resource standards go beyond the standard “reduce, reuse, recycle” by requiring 80 percent of construction waste to be diverted from landfill and the purchase and installation of recycled, and rapidly renewable materials. Water Conservation & Site Management standards include requirements to capture, treat, and use all rainwater from roof and terraces; reclaim, treat, and reuse “black water” from toilets and other fixtures, and plant green roofs. Following up on these landmark guidelines, Bill and Bob were engaged again to write a set of Environmental Guidelines for existing residential buildings in Battery Park City, those that pre-date the original 2000 guidelines.


Green Guidelines for Existing Residential Buildings (2009, Unpublished)

Residential Environmental Guidelines (2005)

Commercial and Institutional Environmental Guidelines (2002)


Battery Park City Authority

COOKFOX Architects



Battery Park City Authority Guidelines

Improving the urban experience

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