At the corner of Varick and Watt streets a hotel will rise with a facade wielding a more attractive and versatile kind of solar technology that may well be unprecedented for New York City.
“This is the future,” said Anthony Morali, principal of MStudio. Mr. Morali has been hired by developer Charles Fridman, of Shalimar Management, to design an eco-friendly, 26-story hotel at 100 Varick Street. Mr. Fridman filed plans for the project on June 24 with the Buildings Department.
A rather reticent Mr. Fridman, reached by phone at his Shalimar Management offices, confirmed that MStudio was designing the building and that it will have some environmentally friendly elements.
Mr. Morali elaborated on said elements. “Basically, 90 percent of solar panels use crystalline wafers,” he said. “It’s your basic solar panel. You can’t see through it. It’s about 2.5 inches thick.”
100 Varick will use something new: “Basically, we’re using a glass which is called ‘amorphous thin film glass.'”
According to Mr. Morali, the solar energy-capturing elements are applied in a gaseous state to the glass, allowing the glass to be much thinner, about a quarter of an inch thick, and therefore more malleable. It will enable the hotel facade to produce between 80 and 100 kilowatts, generating between $40,000 and $50,000 in electricity savings yearly. Not to mention all of the tax credits Mr. Morali is expecting from the federal, state and city governments.
Mr. Morali said this is the first time the technology will be used on the skin of a building in New York City. (Something along the same lines was used to encase the mechanicals atop Durst’s 4 Times Square, he added.)
For his part, Mr. Fridman said he wouldn’t have many more details on the hotel’s construction timeline for a while yet.
“It’s a question of getting everything approved,” Mr. Fridman said. “So, to give you a time, exactly, I don’t know. That’s six months away before we get everything approved.”
Mr. Fridman’s other projects include 540 West 50th Street and 90 Clinton Street.