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25. Greenest Block:
(between Bedford and Driggs, Williamsburg )
If you thought platinum LEED certification was the greenest a building could get, you thought wrong.
174 Grand Street features some of the city’s most eco-conscious architecture, albeit by a different standard. The building is classified as a Passive House
, a zero-energy system developed in Germany two decades ago, and by reducing energy toward heating and cooling by up to 90 percent, it’s arguably more rigorous than LEED’s 30 percent improvement in efficiency. This block features the first new Passive House of its kind. (Bonus: save the earth while getting drunk by buying super-local beer in reusable growlers from the lovely Breukelen Bier Merchants.)