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VBGCQ Awarded in Third Round of Buildings of Excellence Competition

ASTORIA – Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens was recently selected a winner in Round Three of New York State’s Buildings of Excellence Competition for the design and construction of a low-carbon (or net-zero) emitting multifamily building. This competition, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), supports Governor Kathy Hochul’s nation-leading climate goals outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act), which place New York State on a path to economy-wide carbon neutrality and mandates an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“To meet the challenges of the 21st century requires a great team of professionals ready to push the envelope to combat climate change. Our team at Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens are grateful to receive NYSERDA’s innovative Building Excellence Award and their efforts to drive sustainability in the State of New York. Thank you to our elected partners, our architects, consultants, board of directors and team, for your steadfast commitment to construct not just a visionary future for Variety that will serve 16,000 young people, but one that will be completely carbon neutral. This award will enable us to turn our club into a renewable energy learning lab training our kids about the future of energy right here in Astoria. We are grateful for this honor and look forward to delivering a project collaboratively that will be like no other” said Costa Constantinides, CEO of Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens.

“Congratulations to Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens for earning a Buildings of Excellence award for providing a healthy and safe living environment with low carbon emissions,” said U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer. “I was proud to champion the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens is helping meet the urgently needed goals laid out in the groundbreaking climate law.”

“I want to congratulate the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens on receiving this award, which will go a long way in helping New York State blaze a path toward economy-wide carbon neutrality,” said U.S. Senator Gillibrand. “These funds will help Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens set an example for the rest of the state, leading the way toward greater use of clean and green energy resources while also helping New York State reach its goals of an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

A rendering of the carbon neutral building. Photo: Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens

“Congratulations to Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens for being honored as part of the NYSERDA Buildings of Excellence Competition,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “With Queens already having begun to feel the effects of global climate change, it is more important than ever to take steps to reduce our borough’s carbon footprint. The Variety Boys & Girls Club is leading the way in this effort, so I deeply commend its CEO, Costa Constantinides, and his entire team for their work in this area. They truly deserve this prestigious honor.”

“The next chapter of the Variety Boys and Girls Club is going to be bolder and greener than ever before,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “I am proud to be a supporter of this organization and I am thrilled that NYSERDA has chosen Variety as a Building of Excellence, recognizing their commitment to being an environmental steward and healthy neighbor.”

“My heartfelt congratulations to Variety Boys & Girls Club on their well-deserved NYSERDA Buildings of Excellence award,” said Council Member Tiffany Cabán. “I’m proud to consider myself a steadfast supporter of Variety and of architecture that is beautiful, functional, and carbon-neutral. Together, we are making our neighborhood safer, healthier, and more sustainable for generations to come.”

“The NYSERDA Buildings of Excellence award is reflective of the truly innovative planners, architects, engineers and development partners that made up the team for this exciting project,” said Hercules Argyriou, Vice President of Mega Contracting Group, a co-developer and general contractor for the project. “But perhaps even more exciting for Mega is the chance to create meaningful affordable housing that we know is so desperately needed right now while at the same time demonstrating you can have new construction in New York that is not only environmentally conscious but takes measure to make our community greener for the future.”

The Buildings of Excellence Competition, launched in March 2019, is a $48 million initiative that has awarded 63 projects to date – 56 exemplary new construction demonstration projects and seven early stage design projects. It is the only competition of its kind, with the awarded projects becoming part of a comprehensive data collection effort that will help determine how to cost-effectively deliver superior performing buildings that will serve as an essential building block of a carbon-neutral future and advance the design and construction of multi-family buildings. For a complete list of the winning projects statewide, please visit NYSERDA’s Buildings of Excellence website. Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens was selected under Round Three for its low carbon performance, profitability, ability to be adopted broadly, and for creating a healthy and safe living environment.

This project will also provide comprehensive data on design, construction and cost that can be analyzed and shared to increase the number of low- to zero-carbon buildings in New York State. For a complete list of the winning projects statewide, please visit NYSERDA’s Buildings of Excellence website: https://on.ny.gov/3FE0PZR.

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