Fortune Society's Castle Gardens achieves LEED Gold

January 28, 2013 - Green Buildings

Castle Gardens, West
Harlem - Manhattan, NY

The Fortune Society's affordable housing complex, Castle Gardens, has achieved LEED Gold certification. The Gold certification, one of the highest rankings by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.
Castle Gardens, a supportive and affordable housing facility for homeless formerly incarcerated individuals and low income families in West Harlem, shares this achievement with their co-developer, Jonathan Rose Companies, architect, Curtis + Ginsberg LLP, their sustainability consultant, Steven Winter Associates, Inc., general contractor, Lettire Construction Corp. along with support from Hudson Housing Capital and Capital One Community Development Finance. With this certification, Castle Gardens is now one of the first ten Energy Star multifamily buildings in the country as well as a partner of Enterprise Green Communities and NYSERDA Multifamily programs.
"The Fortune Society is proud to be able to respond to four of the most pressing issues of our time: re-entry, homelessness, affordable housing and environmental health," said JoAnne Page, president and CEO of The Fortune Society. "At Castle Gardens we are creating a community that is environmentally and socially sustainable. Our Gold certification illustrates our holistic efforts to support our clients and our community."
Castle Gardens is equipped with an energy-efficient green design leading to significant health benefits and cost savings. It features a rain harvesting system and an extensive green rooftop garden that encourages residents to grow their own herbs and vegetables. The building also includes aluminum solar shades that block the intense summer sun and keep apartments cool, green paints, sealants and cabinetry that are free of toxic ingredients, a high-efficiency boiler and energy efficient appliances and lighting.
Certification highlights include:
* LEED Gold certified (under the LEED for New Construction v2.2 rating system).
* 20% energy cost savings over conventional construction. Achievement of ENERGY STAR certification is expected.
* Energy savings achieved through high performance insulation system and high-efficiency HVAC, lighting systems, and controls.
* 70% of project electricity from renewable sources via green power purchase
* Innovative stormwater capture and re-use for green roof irrigation and cooling tower make-up water
* 40% potable water consumption savings due to low flow fixtures and use of dual-flush toilet technologies
* 20% of construction materials contained recycled content and sourced regionally (within 500 miles)
* 80% of wood used on the project Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified
* Non-toxic, low-emitting materials and finishes (paints, primers, adhesives, paints, carpeting, composite wood) used throughout
* Over 75% construction waste diverted from landfill
"Castle Gardens was developed with the understanding that economic, social and environmental systems must work together to elevate public health," said Jonathan Rose, president of Jonathan Rose Companies. "Providing safe affordable housing, while exceeding our eco-conscious goals is the cornerstone of Rose Companies' mission to strengthen the fabric of our cities."
"This certification is recognition of the entire project team's commitment to sustainability" said Ryan Merkin, vice president and director of multifamily energy services for Steven Winter Associates, Inc. "Castle Gardens is a model of sustainable housing serving the community, its residents, and the environment."
For its residents, Castle Gardens offers 114 studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, a computer lab, library, community room, landscaped roof terraces and meditative area and a 20,000 square-foot Service Center that provides residents with counseling services, case management, financial planning and other essential life skill development courses. Local community groups are also welcomed to use the common spaces for meetings and events.
The Fortune Society created Castle Gardens to promote safe and supportive housing for its homeless formerly incarcerated clients who are striving to successfully reintegrate into society as well as truly affordable housing for the community's individuals and families with limited income. On multiple levels, Castle Gardens makes a significant contribution to the quality of life, health and safety of its residents and the surrounding community.
ABOUT THE FORTUNE SOCIETY: For over forty years, The Fortune Society has been developing model programs that help former prisoners successfully re-enter their communities. The Fortune Society offers a holistic and integrated "one-stop-shopping" model of service provision. Among the services offered are licensed outpatient substance abuse and mental health treatment, alternatives to incarceration, HIV/AIDS services, career development and job retention, education, family services, drop in services and supportive housing as well as ongoing access to aftercare. For more information, visit
ABOUT JONATHAN ROSE COMPANIES: Jonathan Rose Companies LLC is a multidisciplinary planning, project management, development, acquisitions and asset management firm whose mission is to repair the fabric of communities. The firm works with cities, not-for-profit organizations and private clients to define planning objectives and develop creative solutions to real estate challenges. Jonathan Rose Companies has primary presences on the East Coast, in the Southwest, and in the Rocky Mountain region. For more information, visit
ABOUT STEVEN WINTER ASSOCIATES, INC: Steven Winter Associates, Inc. provides research, consulting and advisory services to improve commercial, residential and multifamily built environments for private and public sector clients. The company specializes in energy, sustainability and accessibility consulting as well as certification, research & development and compliance services. Its engineers and architects have led the way since 1972 in the development of best practices to achieve high performance buildings. As a matter of course, the company's staff collaborates with its clients to produce the most cost-effective and innovative solutions.
ABOUT CURTIS + GINSBERG LLP: Curtis + Ginsberg Architects LLP has been providing award winning architectural services since 1991 for a range of projects in the tri-state area. They specialize in providing quality sustainable design where the needs of the client, the environment and the community, from building users to the community at large, take priority. C+GA is an industry leader in sustainable multi-family housing, promoting sustainable and environmentally responsible design. For more information, visit
The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Over 100,000 projects are currently participating in the LEED rating systems, comprising over 8 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 114 countries. By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community. USGBC was co-founded by current President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi, who spent 25 years as a Fortune 500 executive. Under his 15-year leadership, the organization has become the preeminent green building, membership, policy, standards, influential, education and research organization in the nation. For more information, visit


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