New York State’s Geothermal Installation at 1 Java St, Brooklyn is covered by Bloomberg News

  • 31 Mar 2023
  • by
  • Tom Reller
  • US Head of Communications
Article is a result of Lendlease announcing a $4 million grant from NYSERDA to install a geothermal energy exchange system.

Developed by Lendlease, 1 Java Street is a sustainable, urban regeneration development along the Greenpoint waterfront in Brooklyn, New York. Scheduled for completion in late 2025, the project will comprise 834 rental units, 30% of which have been designated as affordable housing under the Affordable New York Housing Program. 

We recently announced a grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to build a geoexchange system to help establish a pioneering model for geothermal energy. Scott Walsh, Development Director, Vice President for Lendlease said, “The geoexchange will enable the development to align with New York’s ambitious climate goals, as well as our global targets of absolute zero carbon by 2040. Our decision to use geothermal was driven not only by the environmental benefits and cost savings, but also enhanced marketability upon completion.”

Bloomberg reporter Will Wade toured the site in March with Scott, and published a resulting article, “All-Electric Building Draws Energy From 500 Feet Below the Surface of the Earth” (subscription required).

Based on square footage, building height, the 834 residential units and number of boreholes, the geothermal system will be the largest multifamily project in New York State. It is believed to be the largest high-rise residential geoexchange system in the country.

In his article, Will reported “The key to heating an 834-unit apartment tower under construction on the Brooklyn waterfront will be a hole in the ground. Actually, it will be 322 holes, each about 4 inches (10 centimeters) across and exactly 499 feet (152 meters) deep — any deeper and New York state would consider it a mining project.  These holes comprise the heart of a geothermal heat-pump system that is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 53% over a comparable building using conventional heating and cooling systems.”

The Brooklyn project is an important test for Lendlease as we seek to eventually eliminate emissions entirely from our global operations. Our head of sustainability for the US, Sara Neff, said in the article, “We don’t want to use natural gas anymore, in any of our buildings.” 

Scott also told Will that, “Even though 1 Java will be more dependent on electricity than a conventional building, it will need less of it. That’s because electric heat pumps are more energy-efficient than the heating and cooling systems widely used now.”

“In a cold climate, an all-electric building isn’t financially feasible without a system like this,” Scott said.

Render Java St, Brooklyn
1 Java Steet geothermal installation rendering

View of a geothermal drilling rig.
View of a geothermal drilling rig.