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David and Joyce Dinkins Gardens

David and Joyce Dinkins Gardens is Harlem's first green building for low-income residents, demonstrating that environmentally responsible design is not only feasible within an affordable housing budget, but provides ongoing operating cost savings.

The 85-unit building, designed by Dattner Architects, features 26 apartments designated for youth aging out of foster care, with the remaining apartments for low-income households earning less than 60% of area median income. David and Joyce Dinkins Gardens is energy efficient, promotes better health for residents, and enhances the urban environment. The use of Energy Star-rated appliances and light fixtures provide direct savings to both the residents and owner of the building. Sun shading on the south-facing exposure keeps apartments cooler in the summer, while allowing winter sunlight in. Improved indoor air quality was achieved at little additional cost by using low-VOC paints and other non-toxic materials throughout, and by ventilating each unit individually. The project restores a public community garden to the space, and includes an outdoor roof patio and landscaped garden for the residents. A rainwater harvesting system will funnel water from the roof into storage tanks to be used for irrigation, further reducing utility costs and stormwater run-off. A portion of the roof is planted with a modular green roof system.