Solara Homes in Rotterdam receives another $750,000 energy award

The Solara Development at 291 North Thompson St. in Rotterdam is pictured on Saturday.

The Solara Development at 291 North Thompson St. in Rotterdam is pictured on Saturday.

The construction of Solara Homes in Rotterdam, a net-zero apartment complex, is what’s needed for the future of the planet, according to the project’s developer.

“Global warming is a real threat and housing is a part of that,” said David Bruns, of Bruns Realty, the developer of the complex. “It’s time to build more energy efficient.”

The project was recently awarded another $750,000 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority as part of the Buildings for Excellence Competition, which looks at how “to stimulate the design, construction, and operation of very low, or zero carbon emitting buildings,” according to NYSERDA’s website.

The building site at 291 N. Thompson St. was previously awarded $750,000 for phase 2 of the project in April 2019.

Bruns said the latest award money was used to research and design plans on how to build the rest of the apartment complex using the lowest carbon footprint possible. The concept included using cellulose instead of Styrofoam and decreasing the use of concrete.

“These winning projects demonstrate tremendous progress in low-carbon building design that sets a new standard for environmentally-friendly construction and operation,” said Doreen M. Harris the president and CEO of NYSERDA in a news release Thursday. The project will move the state closer to reaching its clean energy goals, the release said.

Bruns said phase 2 construction, which includes three-24 unit buildings and a clubhouse with a pool is under way. After that phase 3 will begin, which will include 72 more units. Bruns expects to finish phase 2 before the end of March. Phase 3 begins after that.

“We hope to start soon, lumber prices are really high,” Bruns said.

Bruns said the two to three month shutdown of construction during the beginning of the pandemic didn’t really impact work on the project.

The entire project should be completed by early 2022, Bruns said.

This isn’t the first net-zero project Bruns has built either. Just down the road on Burdeck Road is netZero Village, which was built by Bruns in 2015 and has 156 units.

“This type of eco-friendly development is very popular,” Bruns said, noting he’s been having no problem renting units once they’re on the market.

Apartments at the complex start at $1,375 a month.

Bruns said he would like to continue building more projects locally.

“It’s a matter of finding the right location,” he said.

Categories: News, Schenectady County


If I was still an apartment dweller I’d be in line for one there. Nice looking place and a credit to Rotterdam.


Bravo to the developer! Love that the parking lot has a solar roofs doing double duty protecting the cars from inclement weather and hot summer sun. One caveat: just wish the retro design didn’t make the apartment complex look like rickety old tenement housing.

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