I infiltrate a lot of corporate buildings during the course of a week, from historic (the Chrysler Building) to new construction (renovated loft space in DUMBO), but none as exciting as the Bank of America tower near Bryant Park, which is the first skyscraper designed to attain a Platinum LEED Certification. This is a big green deal, considering convincing dudes in suits to shell out extra money to appease treehuggers is usually…not happenin’. But trashing suits is (for once) not the subject of this post, but rather the amazing features of this unprecedented architectural triumph:
• The building itself is made largely of recycled and recyclable materials (including slag)
• Floor-to-ceiling insulating glass to contain heat and maximize natural light
• Automatic daylight dimming system
• Capturing and reusing rainwater through a greywater system
• Air entering the building will be filtered, as is common, but the air exhausted will be cleaned as well
• The cooling system will produce and store ice (in the basement, my client says!) during off-peak hours, and then use ice phase transition to help cool the building during peak load
• Waterless urinals, which are estimated to save 8 million gallons of water per year and reduce CO2 emissions by 144,000 pounds per year
No mention on the wiki about a garden upstairs, but Green Eco Services mentions that the tower “will include a 4,500-square-foot green roof on a connecting building.” I asked my client there to look into it for me…aka sneak me up there to have a little look-see.
On a related note, L Magazine’s recent Green Awards issue listed the Hearst Tower as “Best Green Office Building That May Someday Develop Sentience.” I agree with their mention that all this LEED building “should’ve started 15 years ago,” but I’m also just glad that architects and the big shots that pay them are finally pulling their heads out of the sand and hopping aboard the wagon bound for a greater good…even if it is for the tax write-offs!