A while back, MetaEfficient profiled what could be the greenest skyscraper in America, the Bank of America Tower in New York City. Located in midtown Manhattan at One Bryant Park, the 945-foot tall, 55-story structure is scheduled to open later this year. Here’s a closer look at some of the groundbreaking features that should help the building earn a coveted LEED Platinum designation.
In addition to making extensive use of low-VOC construction materials and recycled products like steel and drywall, the BoA Tower is designed with energy efficiency in mind. Power demand is reduced for lighting and climate-control systems thanks to high-transparency, low-e glass (that’s low emissivity, meaning heat bounces off the glass instead of being conducted through, while still allowing illumination from sunlight). The air-conditioning system produces ice at night, when municipal power demand is at its lowest, then stores it for daytime cooling use. And a highly efficient 5.1-megawatt combined cycle electrical generation facility within the building reduces its need for municipal grid power.
Air quality inside the BoA Tower is a top priority, with a filtration system that eliminates 95% of particulate pollution. Air is drawn inside at least 100 feet above street level, filtered, and distributed to individual floors where it gets a second filtration. As a result, exhaust air from the building is actually much cleaner than the surrounding ambient city air.
Water use is revolutionary for a building of this size, especially by U.S. standards. Rain is collected on all roof areas, and storage tanks can hold up to 269,000 gallons of rainwater, meaning zero storm water goes into city sewers. Collected water is used for toilets and plant irrigation, saving over 10 million gallons of potable water annually; low flow fixtures and waterless urinals further reduce water use, and a graywater treatment plant in the cellar provides water for the building’s cooling tower.
Green architecture has officially arrived in New York City. And if it can make it there, as the old song goes, it can make it anywhere. When the Bank of America Tower opens this year, it will serve as an illustration of how sustainable design and green technologies can be applied to projects on a massive scale.
(via Bank of America)