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A condo with a view: Are all-glass buildings worth it?

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Bryan Pocius/Flickr

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Bryan Pocius/Flickr

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    Monday, December 9, 2013, 4:29 PM -

    It's nice to have a room with a view, but are all-glass condos worth the investment?

    Environmentalists call them a "major step backwards", because they tend to have a large carbon footprint.

    People who live in all-glass condos say they prefer the natural sunlight and uninterrupted view they enjoy, but a recent survey by the Urban Green Council suggests that the majority of tenants actually ignore their windows altogether.

    “We looked at 55 buildings throughout New York City and found the same results across the board,” said Russell Unger, Executive Director of Urban Green Council, in a statement.

    “People move into these rooms with a view, but more often than not, can’t see out the window."

    That's because in the buildings surveyed, more than 59% of the window area was covered by blinds or shades. More than 75% of the buildings had more than half of their window surface covered.

    The council says the trend was seen in commercial and residential buildings and remained consistent throughout the day, regardless of which direction the window faced.

    "Tenants pay a premium for the views from all-glass buildings while society pays a price through higher energy costs, carbon emissions, and air pollution,” The council writes.

    The advocacy group says that building brokers should help prospective tenants make more educated decisions by disclosing the pros and cons of an all-glass building.

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