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08/24/2010 12:11 PM     print story email story  

NYC's Bank of America Tower Certified Platinum

SustainableBusiness.com News

The Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park has officially achieved Platinum LEED from the U.S. Green Bulding Council (USGBC) certification for the the core and shell of the building--excluding interiors.

The 55-story office building--the first in the world designed and constructed to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum standards--was developed by The Durst Organization, designed by Cook + Fox, and built by Tishman Construction Corporation.

Plans for the building were first featured on SustainableBusiness.com in 2004. 

One Bryant Park, which is two-thirds occupied by Bank of America, is a striking crystalline tower located at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan.  Built into the podium of the building is Henry Miller’s Theatre, recently renamed the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, a 1,055-seat Broadway playhouse and New York City’s first “green theater”.  It was designed and built to LEED Gold standards.

Tishman said it assisted The Durst Organization and Bank of America in achieving a LEED Platinum rating for the new skyscraper by taking the following steps:

Teaching subcontractors green building methods:

  • Tishman made sure subcontractors had absolute clarity about the building’s green specifications in the bid phase.  This strategy brought bids in at more competitive rates because subcontractors didn’t have to “leave an allowance” in the numbers to cover green challenges they weren’t familiar with.
  • Tishman made sure subcontractors were aware of the difference between the LEED specifications for materials fabricated offsite and materials used onsite (paints, glues, etc.) because the criteria for offsite materials are lower.  Materials used in the shop cannot necessarily be used in the field.
  • Tishman taught subcontractors how to track and report the criteria for the regionally sourced materials (by weight and dollar value) so that the information could be summarized and reported accurately to the USGBC.

Selecting green materials: Tishman required early submission of green materials so they could be approved concurrently by both the architect and the LEED expert. Tishman said this strategy saved time and money.

Protecting indoor air quality: 

  • Tishman personnel implemented an Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) plan during construction so that workers had fresh air and ventilation in every area of the building during every phase of the project. The IAQ plan also improved the quality of air for the building’s tenants.
  • Tishman ensured that subcontractors shielded both ends of any ductwork to be installed, so when the ducts were delivered, they were not exposed to water- or airborne-contaminants.

Preventing mold: Tishman prevented mold and mildew by making sure subcontractors kept materials out of wet areas and off the floor.

Coordinating the building design for co-gen plant: The 4.6-megawatt co-gen plant that Tishman installed in One Bryant Park provides approximately 65% of the building’s energy and is a key component in achieving enough points to win LEED Platinum certification. Tishman was part of the design process, providing advice during constructability reviews as to how to coordinate the design of the building around the co-gen, what structural reinforcements would be implemented, how to coordinate it into the structure, how to install the mechanical, electrical and ventilation systems around it, and how to handle the logistics of equipment delivery and installation.

Conserving water: The stormwater- and graywater-retention and recycling systems were an important component on the LEED scorecard. Tishman had to figure out how to implement the complex designs.

Managing complexities: Tishman also worked with the owner and the design team on cost issues, scheduling, logistics, constructability and value engineering.
 
Additionally, Tishman said it had to constantly emphasize to subcontractors not familiar with sustainable construction techniques that compliance was mandatory. Eventually subcontractors bought into the concept and started complying with the reporting and submission requirements for LEED certification.



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