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C2 Design Group News

March 22, 2023

The Lafayette Project Awarded in Third Round of Buildings of Excellence Competition

Competition Highlights Model Projects to Bring Low-to-Zero Carbon Multifamily Buildings to Scale in New York State

C2 Design Group and The Rosenblum Group announced, The Lafayette, a collaborative project in the Capital Region, was selected as a winner in Round Three of New York State’s Buildings of Excellence Competition for the design of a clean and resilient 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.

“While sustainable design goals aren’t new, they’re being realized in a greater number of projects nationwide. Bringing a carbon-neutral project to downtown Schenectady is something I’m passionate about,” said C2 Design Group principal Michael Roman, RA, AIA, NCARB. “The Lafayette was designed through a collaborative process to achieve a low-emission and resilient building that is both transformative and impactful.”

C2 provided architectural design services for the winning project, a new, five-story, multi-family housing project located in downtown Schenectady, New York on the corner of Lafayette and Liberty Streets. The 64-unit building will offer a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units with competitive lease rates responsive to the demand for more affordable living options. The site is a short walk from restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and nightlife, local universities, and other transportation access points. Building amenities will include a rooftop terrace, ground floor indoor parking with electric vehicle charging stations, a fitness center, a co-working center, a pet washing room, and fiber-based high speed internet access throughout the building. This will give residents the option to live, work, and play without leaving the building.

The carbon neutral-ready apartment building will incorporate green building design elements such as a highly insulated building envelope and airtight design, heat pumps for heating, cooling and domestic hot water, energy recovery ventilation, and low emissivity material choices to improve indoor air quality and meet the EPA Indoor AirPLUS program requirements. Additionally, the roof will be equipped with a solar array designed to offset building electric consumption. These features will enhance energy efficiency, occupant comfort, improved indoor air quality, and building resiliency.

The Lafayette project team is comprised of design leaders within their respective fields, C2 Design Group (architecture); Sustainable Comfort (green building/energy efficiency consultant); and Alderson Engineering (geothermal).

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.

The Lafayette 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.

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Congratulations to C2 Design Group and the entire Lafayette project team on their Buildings of Excellence Competition Round Three award. As New York continues to advance an equitable clean energy transition, projects like this provide replicable examples for designers, developers and architects to follow with confidence.”

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 at

Read more about The Lafayette project here: