The Highbridge Wins $1M in "Buildings of Excellence Competition"

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Samaritan Daytop Village Awarded $1 Million in Third Round of "Buildings of Excellence Competition"

New York State Competition Spotlights Award-Winning Design and Construction of Low- to Zero-Carbon Multi-Family buildings 

(NEW YORK, NY - March 21, 2023) -  Samaritan Daytop Village was named a winner in Round Three of New York State’s Buildings of Excellence Competition for the design of The Highbridge. The nonprofit was awarded $1 million for the multi-family, low-carbon building design.

The Buildings of Excellence 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 guides New York State on the path to economy-wide carbon neutrality and mandates an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“NYSERDA’s award represents a $1 million investment in a population that rarely benefits from the advantages of low-carbon building designs,” said Mitchell Netburn, President and CEO of Samaritan Daytop Village. “The purpose-filled design of The Highbridge will offer the latest advances in sustainable architecture to a community of 1,000 vulnerable New Yorkers. The benefits to our clients are infinite while residing in a healthy, safe, and beautiful living space.”

Located next to Highbridge Park, the gateway to the historic High Bridge, The Highbridge reimagines and redefines the existing Highbridge Residential Treatment Program. In its place, the Bronx-based project will offer a modern, efficient, multi-use development that is fully electrified with a zero-waste goal. The Highbridge, totaling 400,000 square feet, will include: 

  • Affordable apartments for eligible members of the community
  • Supportive housing units
  • Transitional housing units for families
  • 80-bed treatment center (replacing the current center)
  • Three outdoor terraces
  • Community facility space

Plans are to place the Highbridge Residential Treatment Program into a separate area of the building with a discrete and removed entrance/exit area. The transitional housing for families and the supportive and affordable housing will occupy two other areas of the remaining building space.

“The planned development will give residents of all three programs a safe, healthy and healing environment where they can grow and transform their lives with the support of Samaritan Daytop Village’s skilled staff members,” explained Netburn.

As a leading model for high-performing buildings in New York City, the development capitalizes on the principles of Passive House design and green architecture. Benefits include increased energy efficiency, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and healthier indoor air quality. Details of this leading-edge design also include Variable Refrigerant Flow heating and cooling, heat pump water heaters to convert wastewater into waste heat, and an urban farm with garden, chickens, and composting (on one of the terraces).

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NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “As a distinguished Blue Ribbon for Design Excellence awardee, The Highbridge is a model for incorporating the high standards of Passive House design into affordable supportive housing. NYSERDA is pleased to support this project with a Buildings of Excellence award and congratulates the Samaritan Daytop Village team for this well-deserved recognition.” 

The Highbridge is being developed by owner Samaritan Daytop Village, one of New York State’s largest health and human services organizations, and designed by Magnusson Architecture and Planning, LLC (MAP), a leader in efficient, sustainable architectural design.

In addition to the Building of Excellence Award, The Highbridge is expected to be financed with capital from the New York City Department of Housing, Preservation & Development, Tax Exempt Bonds and subsidy, Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity, funds from the New York State Homeless Housing Assistance Program, and other New York State and City sources.

The Highbridge is Samaritan Daytop Village’s second electrification project in the Bronx. Wakefield Apartments, located at East 243rd Street, received a $1 million investment last year as part of the New York State and City Retrofit Electrification Pilot headed by the NYC Department of Housing, Preservation & Development, and NYSERDA. Architect for that building was also MAP.

As a Buildings of Excellence design winner, the project will provide NYSERDA with comprehensive data on design, construction and costs that can be analyzed and shared to increase the number of low- to zero-carbon buildings in New York State.

Launched in March 2019, the Buildings of Excellence Competition is a $48 million initiative that has awarded 63 projects to date: 56 exemplary new construction demonstration projects and seven early-stage design projects. Through the one-of-its-kind competition, the awarded projects become part of a comprehensive data collection effort to help determine cost-effective delivery of 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, visit NYSERDA’s Buildings of Excellence website at

About Samaritan Daytop Village 

For over 60 years, Samaritan Daytop Village has been improving the quality of life for New Yorkers. The nonprofit is nationally recognized for the treatment of substance use disorder as well as for the veteran-specific approach it pioneered. Our continuum of services also includes health and mental health care, transitional and supportive housing, educational and vocational assistance, peer-assisted recovery, and specialized programs for adolescents, families, and seniors. Annually, Samaritan Daytop Village serves over 33,000 people at more than 60 facilities throughout New York City, Long Island, and the lower Hudson Valley. For more information about Samaritan Daytop Village, visit