environmentally friendly buildings currently under construction
I think its about time that large developers started thinking in this sustainable way
Is there any eco-friendly buildings rising in your town/city?
BANK BUILDING TO SET STANDARD FOR ENERGY SAVINGS
By BILL SANDERSON
TOWER POWER: Everything from heating to plumbing is eco-friendly at the Bank of America building.
December 4, 2006 --
Money isn't the only green thing New Yorkers can associate with the Bank of America.
The bank's crystalline tower going up at the corner of West 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue in Midtown will be the city's greenest office building when it opens in 2008 - with energy-efficient heating and air conditioning, and pollution-reducing plumbing and drainage.
Amazing new technology makes being environmentally friendly very economical, said Douglas Durst, co-president of the Durst Organization, which is leading the $1.2 billion project.
"It's slightly more expensive to build," Durst said. "But if you build a better building and you are careful, these systems pay for themselves very quickly."
Many of the environmentally advanced features of the 945-foot, 64-story building - such as its reuse of rainwater and waste water in its toilets - required special variances from city building rules.
"It's been easy to grant the variances, but it ended up being another step for them," said Department of Buildings spokeswoman Jennifer Givner.
A revamping of New York's building code now underway will make it easier for developers to construct environmentally friendly structures in the future, Givner said.
Many of Manhattan's newest skyscrapers are environmentally efficient - the Hearst Tower on 57th Street and Eighth Avenue has coated glass designed to keep the sun's heat at bay, and the CondÃ© Nast building in Times Square, also built by the Dursts, has energy-efficient air chillers.
But they'll be topped by the Bank of America building's features, which are expected to make it the first skyscraper to earn a "platinum" rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.
* The building's toilets will be flushed with rainwater drained from the roofs and wastewater filtered from the plumbing system.
* Urinals will be filled with an oil that is lighter than water. Urine will sink below the oil and be odorlessly flushed away without any water.
* Air conditioning vents will be on the floor instead of the ceiling. When cooled air is piped in through the ceiling, it has to be chilled at about 55 degrees. But when it comes from the floor, it only has to be 65 degrees.
* Floor-to-ceiling windows are being designed to let sunlight in while dissipating the sun's heat.
* A cogeneration plant will produce electricity during the day and be used to make ice for the building cooling system over night.
* About 40 percent of the materials in the building are recycled - and about half of the construction material will come from within 500 miles of New York, saving on shipping costs.
Durst said the building's environmentally-friendly features will make it a more comfortable place to work.
"All these things make the occupants a lot more productive," he said. "You won't feel at the end of the day like you are ready to take a nap
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- paul h
- Posts: 342
- Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:52 am
- Location: Dublin
amNew York Staff Writer
February 9, 2007, 6:05 PM EST
The largest icemaker in Manhattan is being built across the street from Bryant Park.
No, the 300 tons of ice it will make and store won't be used for cocktail parties. The icemaker is part of an innovative cooling system that will keep the 55-story Bank of America Tower chilled all summer, using only a fraction of the energy of traditional air conditioners.
This is just one feature in what is slated to become the most environmentally sustainable skyscraper in the nation when it opens in spring 2008 on the northwest corner of 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue.
As New York struggles to reduce its carbon footprint, the city has become a showcase for "green building" technology, with both Seven World Trade Center and the Hearst Tower qualifying for gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
But even the greenest buildings in the city won't match the technology being installed in the bank tower, which is aiming for platinum certification.
Instead of overheat vents, the builders are employing an under-floor ventilation system, in which air will literally rise from the ground.
Carbon dioxide monitors will automatically inject fresh air into the structure if the offices become too stuffy. Nearly all of the wastewater produced by the building will be recycled, and used for things like watering the rooftop gardens.
"The biggest challenge is that everything is new," said Jordan Barowitz, a spokesman for The Durst Organization, which is building the tower in conjunction with Bank of America. "The easiest way to build is to do exactly what you have done in the past. Here everything is an innovation, nothing has been done before."
While the tower won't be the first platinum-certified high-rise in the country, at 1,200 feet tall and with 2.1 million square feet of floor space, it certainly will be the largest. (There are about 30 platinum-certified buildings nationwide.)
If successful, the $1.3 billion tower could launch a wave of platinum-rated buildings in the city. Research in the past decade shows a clear increase in productivity and fewer sick days among workers in green buildings, giving corporations a tangible, profit-driven incentive to go green.
"This will be the landmark building that marked the tipping point in the market, where green stopped being called alternative, and became instead the preferred commercial standard," said Charles Lockwood, an environmental and real estate consultant.
Lockwood predicted that green technology would soon be seen as essential to a 21st-century building as air conditioning was in the last century.
Boston and Washington D.C. already mandate green features in most new construction. New York CityÂ¹s Local Law 86 establishes green standards for energy and water use in publicly funded buildings, but stop short of requiring them in private construction done without public funds.
Still, Debra Taylor of the Department of Buildings said that more private builders are taking the green initiative on their own, both to save money on energy costs and to improve worker performance. Though these buildings initially cost more to construct, proponents argue that the energy-saving features save money in the long run.
"There are still people who are concerned about cost, but cost is proving to be less and less of a concern," Taylor said. "The learning curve is being surmounted."
Tower's 'green' features:
- Floor-to-ceiling windows let in the maximum amount of natural light.
- Insulating window glass and double-wall technology retains heat during the winter, and keeps it out during the summer.
-Each floor has its own temperature controls for more efficient cooling. -Under-floor ventilation keeps air circulating better than traditional vents.
-Carbon dioxide monitors allow injections of fresh air as needed.
-Air filters remove 95 percent of particles, making the interior air cleaner than air outside.
-Gray-water recycling system reduces burden on city sewers by reusing waste and rainwater within the building.
-Rooftop gardens cool building and reduce "heat island" effect that makes all of Manhattan hotter in the summer.
-About half the building is made from recycled materials
The tower by the numbers:
2.1 million square feet
1,200 feet tall including glass spire
$1.3B: development and construction cost
80%: amount of space The Bank of America will occupy in the tower
$100+: price per square foot paid by tenants such as Akin Gump law firm and Elie Tahari fashion company.
- paul h
- Posts: 342
- Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:52 am
- Location: Dublin