Monday, November 16, 2009

Environmentally Responsible High-Rise

Bank of America Tower New York is a 2.1 million square foot, 52-story crystalline skyscraper, located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Although having opened its doors in 2008, the tower is scheduled for completion in 2010 at which point it will, according to its designers, be the most environmentally responsible high-rise office building in the world.

When it comes to green architecture they don’t come much greener than this. At an estimated cost of around US $1 billion, this 54 storey tower was designed to be extremely efficient, allowing heat from the sun to be maximized, waste and rainwater to be reused, and an abundance of natural daylight to filter through.

In line with the ideology of sustainable building practice, the majority of raw materials used came from renewable and recycled sources within 800 kilometers of New York.

Green Building design elements include:
  • Floor-to-ceiling insulating glass to contain heat and maximize natural light
  • An automatic daylight dimming system
  • A greywater system, which captures rainwater and reuses it
  • Building constructed largely of recycled and recyclable materials
  • Air entering the building is filtered; air exhausted is cleaned.
  • Insulating glass reduces thermal loss lowering energy consumption and increasing transparency.
Slag, a byproduct of blast furnaces, made up 45% of the concrete mix used. The use of slag lowers the amount of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas produced through normal cement manufacturing. (One ton of cement produced emits about one ton of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.)

To put it into perspective……

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a Green Building Rating System that was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. There are 100 possible base points plus an additional 6 points for Innovation in Design and 4 points for Regional Priority. Buildings can qualify for four levels of certification:
  • Certified - 40-49 points
  • Silver - 50-59 points
  • Gold - 60-79 points
  • Platinum - 80 points and above
Not too surprisingly, Bank of America Tower has been accredited with Platinum Status.

Ernest Roper

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