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Green Update of The Freedom Towers- NYC

Green building and sustainable features in the new Freedom Tower in New York City

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LEED Gold Level at 7 World Trade Center

Update on the green and sustainable features in the new Freedom Tower in New York City, Led by Larry Silverstein, President and CEO of Silverstein Properties, Inc., the other leading members of the team are the Architect David M. Childs, FAIA, Design Partner in Charge at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP, and the General Contractor Tishman Construction Corp.

Some of the elements that define the LEED Gold Level at 7 World Trade Center:

  • more open space for the public,
  • more natural light,
  • glass that conserves energy by blocking heat and uninhibiting light,
  • excellent indoor air quality through the use of a high-efficiency filtration system, steam to electricity turbine generators,
  • variable speed fans,
  • harvesting rainwater for reuse in the cooling system and for irrigating the park,
  • waste reduction through diversion of more than seventy-five percent of construction waste and use of recycled content materials.
  • high-tech glass blocks ultraviolet rays that cause heat, while maintaining clear glass, that allows full sunlight to illuminate the interiors.
  • A steam to electricity turbine conserves energy by using steam that in turn generates an electric current.
  • The variable speed fan and the indoor/outdoor air ventilation fan
  • gray water can be harvested from rainfall and recycled through various point-of-use water supplies throughout the building.

LEED Green Building Benefits: Conservation, Employee Health, Tax Breaks, Refunds

In addition to conservation, and improving employee health and work satisfaction, there are many tax breaks and refund benefits for utilizing these systems and solutions. Further, labor costs for recycling building materials may be reclaimed.
  • Cogeneration and fuel cells, on-site and off-site renewable energy sources, such as wind energy.
  • Cogeneration is the result of a heat engine or a power station that generates electricity and heat at the same time. This is the most efficient use of electricity on an energy basis standard.
  • In the Freedom Tower, electricity costs are expected to be thirty-five percent lower than surrounding generic Manhattan office buildings. Fifty percent of the energy comes from renewable sources such as wind farms.
  • Full height low-iron glass allows tenants to install daylight dimming controls.
  • High efficiency cooling and heating systems surpass local energy codes with high efficiency filters to improve indoor air quality.
  • Low-VOC paints are the standard throughout the building.
  • High efficiency plumbing systems save thirty percent of water consumption, such as low-flow toilets and devices to limit water use for hand washing.
  • Rainwater collection systems supply water for the irrigation system as well as for the cooling tower.
  • Carbon dioxide sensors are installed throughout the building.
  • There was no use of ozone-depleting HCFC refrigerants in the mechanical systems.
  • The maximum use of post-consumer recycled content was used for building materials.
  • Fifty percent of wood used on the project comes from FSC certified sustainable harvested forests.
  • Ninety percent of the interior workspaces have outdoor views throughout the building to provide employees with better holistic health through exterior views and natural daylight in their workspaces.
Larry Silverstein stated that, “Given the speed at which new technologies are emerging and given the relationships we have built with pioneering organizations such as the National Resources Defense Council and Clean Air Communities, we expect that we will continue to raise the bar from our environmental standpoint as we move forward.”

SOURCE: Construction Monthly

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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