The Largest LEED Platinum Renovation, Ever, Is Midtown’s 270 Park Avenue

270 Park Avenue – the headquarters of JPMorgan Chase, between East 47th and 48th Streets in Midtown – recently became the largest renovation project to date to earn a LEED Platinum rating from USGBC. The renovation (which earned the designation under LEED for New Construction Version 2.2) should cut 270 Park’s overall energy consumption in half and save over one million gallons of water annually.

The renovation was performed while the building remained in operation. In order to minimize disruptions to employees and building systems, 400 construction workers completed the project in phases while working on up to ten floors simultaneously. Specific design features that supported the project’s LEED Platinum application included:

  • New building systems to improve energy efficiency, including heating and air conditioning equipment; lighting with occupancy sensors and daylight dimming controls; Energy Star kitchen appliances, computers and monitors; and new building insulation and window tint to reduce glare, heat gain and air conditioning load.
  • A 54,000-gallon basement tank that collects rain water from drains on the roof and plaza, which is stored and filtered, and then used in landscaping and to flush toilets in the lower part of the building, which should save more than 1 million gallons of water a year. Combined with other plumbing upgrades the building will use half as much water as pre-renovation.
  • Nearly 16,500 square feet of new landscaping, including green roofs, that feature low-maintenance plants to help lower building temperatures in the summer and reduce storm water runoff.
  • Reusing over 99 percent of the original building during the renovation and recycling more than 85 percent of construction waste including 990,000 square feet of carpeting. And over 12,000 tons of construction waste was diverted from landfills.
  • New floor designs and layout give 85 percent of employees natural daylight at their desks, with more than 92 percent having exterior views.
  • 266 bicycle racks.

Built in 1961 and designed in the International Style by Skidmore Owings & Merrill, the 1.2 million-square-foot, 52-story 270 Park Avenue was once known as the Union Carbide Building, serving as the headquarters of the eponymous chemical manufacturer until it relocated to Danbury, Connecticut in 1983.

Trophy Office Tower Could Bring LEED Platinum to High Line in West Chelsea

Cook + Fox LEED Platinum High Line

The Albanese Organization has announced plans for a Cook + Fox-designed, LEED Platinum office building in West Chelsea (pictured). Set to rise adjacent to the High Line on a parcel that was once slated for a Jay-Z-owned hotel, the 9-story, 175,000-square-foot tower will feature 160 feet of High Line frontage and 14- to 20-foot-high ceilings on floor plates ranging from 15,000 to 20,000 square feet.

The $140 million project would be located at 510 West 22nd Street and 10th Avenue. According to Rick Cook, it will “engage” both the High Line and the natural environment with terraces on the north and south sides of the second floor, the 9th floor, and a green roof. Tenant spaces will feature individually controlled HVAC systems. Ground-floor retail space will likely serve as a gallery or event space; local zoning allows for the development of office, retail, hotel, and non-profit museum uses.

In order to break ground, Albanese will first need to secure an anchor tenant that will take 75,000 square feet – at least – with likely asking rents in the vicinty of $80 per square foot, the New York Times reports. “After buying the Chelsea Art Museum building,” Mr. Albanese told the Times, “we were amazed by the corporations who were interested in relocating to West Chelsea, who were looking for an edgy location for their offices as opposed to a typical Midtown building.”

Albanese purchased the site from Highland Capital back in December for $55 million.

A Closer Look at One World Trade Center’s Green Design Features

1 WTC Under Construction - Dec 2011

Construction progress at 1 WTC as of December 2011.

For obvious reasons, the Port Authority has kept specific design features of the 105-story building that was formerly known as the Freedom Tower – including the advanced building technologies and green building elements supporting its pending LEED Gold application – relatively close to its vest. But recently more details have emerged about specific green technologies that the Port (and the Durst Organization, which holds a 5 percent, $100 million stake) are implementing at 1 WTC, which is on track for a 2013 completion:

  • Fuel Cells: Twelve fuel cell stacks from United Technologies Corporation will provide 4.8 million watts/hour of electricity, making One World Trade Center’s installation one of the largest in the world (according to UTC).
  • Waste Steam Recycling: Waste heat from the fuel cell installation will be recycled and used for both hot water and heating within lower portions of the tower. And an absorption chiller will also allow the system to provide up to 50 tons of air conditioning for the building.
  • Natural Daylighting: When daylight hits, dimmers will automatically lower interior office lighting within 15 feet of the building perimeter.
  • Recycled-Content Building Materials & Diverted Construction Debris: All of the building’s structural materials contain – at a minimum – 75 percent recycled-content materials. And Tishman Construction is on track to recycle 80 percent of the project’s construction debris.
  • Efficient Building Systems: Energy performance at One World Trade Center should reach 20 percent better than code; low-flow plumbing fixtures should drop water consumption by 30 percent.
  • Recycled Rainwater: On-site graywater systems will collect rainwater for building cooling, fire protection, and landscape irrigation.
  • Landscaping: The 400+ trees within One World Trade Center’s new main plaza were all sourced within 500 miles of New York City. They’ll also assist in cooling (and insulating) the below-grade National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
  • Low-Sulfur Diesel Fuels: Contractors on site must use low-sulfur diesel fuels. All vehicles have also been equipped with particulate filters to reduce  environmental impact of construction on local air quality.
  • Indoor Air Quality: Carbon dioxide monitors will be linked to air handling software in order to provide fresh air when necessary from over 3000 monitoring stations within the building.
  • Sustainable Forestry: Fifty percent of all wood products installed at One World Trade Center will be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

As you may recall, the General Services Administration of the United States signed a preliminary letter of agreement to lease 300,000 square feet at One World Trade Center back in October.  Coupled with Condé Nast’s 1 million-square-foot, $2 billion lease to become the 3 million-square-foot building’s anchor tenant, the deal pushed 1 WTC past the 50 percent-leased threshold; in addition to Condé Nast, GSA joined Chinese real estate investment firm Beijing Vantone (200,000 square feet) among the tower’s first three tenants.

Every LEED Certification/Accreditation Fee In One Place

I had a few requests today at work for clarifications on LEED fees, presumably because they’re a little hard to find or that they require 3-4 clicks to get to from the main website and my coworkers are lazy (just kidding… please don’t fire me!)

expensive hamster
Perhaps an unfair picture for this post, but then again…

As a result, I thought all you LEED power users might appreciate a post that will link directly to fees for every rating system. In each case, fees all versions of the rating system are indicated:

LEED New ConstructionLEED for SchoolsLEED for Core and Shell (includes fees for LEED-CS Precertification)LEED for Commercial InteriorsLEED for Existing Buildings, Operations and Maintenance (includes fees for recertification)LEED for Neighborhood Development (includes fees for all review stages)LEED for Homes (does not include fees for LEED Provider or Green Rater)LEED Green Associate Exam (includes Credentialing Maintenance costs)LEED Accredited Professional Exam (includes all specialties and Credentialing Maintenance costs)LEED for Homes Green Rater Exam

So that’s that, and I hope it makes you’re life slightly easier… If any of these links break please let me know by leaving a comment!

Learn more at RealLifeLEED.com!

Every LEED Certification/Accreditation Fee In One Place

I had a few requests today at work for clarifications on LEED fees, presumably because they’re a little hard to find or that they require 3-4 clicks to get to from the main website and my coworkers are lazy (just kidding… please don’t fire me!)

expensive hamster

Perhaps an unfair picture for this post, but then again…

As a result, I thought all you LEED power users might appreciate a post that will link directly to fees for every rating system. In each case, fees all versions of the rating system are indicated:

So that’s that, and I hope it makes you’re life slightly easier… If any of these links break please let me know by leaving a comment!