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View Full Version : The Bank of America Tower a.k.a. One Bryant Park - by Cook + Fox Architects



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James Kovata
December 20th, 2010, 04:57 AM
In zippy's third pic of BoA, it appears as if the wedge IS a deferent color. It looks bluish green rather than white. Is that happening or is it just this picture?

antinimby
December 21st, 2010, 01:53 PM
Just the picture. The wedge has always been white.


Anyway, I really like this light show. Would like to see them do it year round.

Derek2k3
December 21st, 2010, 07:37 PM
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5090/5278567947_a6c94bd5a8_b.jpg
Lydia2222 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41796984@N08/5278567947/sizes/l/in/pool-35034350743@N01/)

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5250/5278805063_bda3fd01ca_b.jpg

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5046/5279174536_481b4d82d7_b.jpg
Lydia2222 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41796984@N08/5279174536/sizes/l/in/pool-35034350743@N01/)

BStyles
December 22nd, 2010, 09:56 AM
Who needs fancy light shows when you got New York?:)

antinimby
December 22nd, 2010, 01:42 PM
Very nice.

1 WTC should do this, too.

arcman210
December 22nd, 2010, 09:12 PM
Just the glow from times square is something in itself.

Tectonic
December 23rd, 2010, 03:47 AM
New York Times Tower is the lazy one in that picture, only office lights.

ESBisMyMuse
December 28th, 2010, 12:04 PM
From today's NY Post
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/realestate/commercial/durst_trips_the_lights_fantastic_BPpGXqjYgXJUGjmQw Hd06H

"Durst trips the lights fantastic on 42nd Street

Steve Cuozzo
REALTY CHECK

The City That Never Sleeps has a new reason to stay up at night.

In the past few days, without fanfare, the Durst Organization lit up the previously dark spire atop 1 Bryant Park, aka the Bank of America Tower, at Sixth Avenue and 42nd Street. The ornamental shaft -- rising to 1,200 feet, taller than the Chrysler Building's -- now pulsates from blue to green to gold.

The ever-shifting hues powerfully punctuate 1 BP's "wall of white" facade lighting that turns night to day.

At the same time, the broadcast antenna of developer Douglas Durst's 4 Times Square next door was similarly illuminated in a surprise move, making for a choreographed duet above 42nd Street. Although Durst was known to be planning something fun for the top of 1 BP, he'd kept the work on 4 TS under wraps.

The effect is arresting from any vantage point. Viewed from the Queens waterfront, for example, 1 BP appears to be courting the Chrysler Building in a graceful pas de deux.

Eventually, Durst told us, he hopes the tower tops will "play off" a proposed illuminated spire at 1 World Trade Center downtown, where he's partnering with the Port Authority. The 1 WTC shaft will reach to a symbolic 1,776 feet above ground.

Durst's $3.5 million Midtown lighting scheme was created by Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design and installed during the course of a year by Fred Geller Electrical. The spires are lit from dusk to midnight. Like the rest of 1 Bryant Park, which is LEEDS Platinum-Certified, the lights are energy-efficient.

The 368 LED floodlights on the tower tops are made by Philips Color Kinetics. The total power consumption of about 18.4 KW is believed to be much less than at other illuminated skyscraper tops. scuozzo@nypost.com"

Derek2k3
December 28th, 2010, 12:31 PM
Great. Sounds like they'll be around for some time.
There are exterior lights 3/4th up 4XSq that they haven't been turned on lately.

The tops of Morgan Stanley and Times Square Tower havn't been lit in a while either.

lofter1
December 28th, 2010, 12:57 PM
Good for Durst.

infoshare
December 28th, 2010, 07:52 PM
Great idea: architectural lighting need not be static.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSeUOjkQEa8

Tectonic
December 29th, 2010, 02:53 AM
Makes the building and skyline much more dynamic.

Gulcrapek
January 1st, 2011, 10:38 PM
I saw this a few days ago from the south, around Herald Square... it is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo coooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool.

DKNY617
January 3rd, 2011, 12:10 AM
January 2nd, 2011

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy306/DKNY619/IMG_2410.jpg
http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy306/DKNY619/IMG_2407.jpg

BStyles
January 3rd, 2011, 12:50 AM
If I were an architect, because of this, I'd put an antenna on top of all my skyscrapers.

Merry
January 11th, 2011, 06:31 AM
A Hedge Grows in Midtown

By RALPH GARDNER JR.

If your landscape architect came up to you and said, "I've got a great idea. You just spent a billion dollars on this building. Why don't we make a Chia Pet its centerpiece!" you'd probably find a new landscape architect. But to the credit of the Durst Organization, developers of the Bank of America Tower on the northwest corner of 42nd Street and Avenue of the Americas, they told Margie Ruddick to go for it.

The result is one of the city's newest, oddest and—judging by the number of people reading, having lunch there, and playing chess amid its towering topiary on a recent afternoon—more successful public spaces. The verdant structures, though polite company would more likely call them sculpture, even living art, and ranging from 7-foot monoliths to a 25-foot arch, were created by constructing steel cages with a built-in irrigation system. Then they were filled with soil and covered in porous fabric. Finally they were hand-planted with thousands of ferns, mosses, lichens, etc.

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/NY-AS225_GARDNE_DV_20110109165202.jpg
Ramsay de Give for The Wall Street Journal
Chess players and other visitors to the
Urban Garden Room at Bank of America Tower's
street-level atrium.

However, these heroic hedges—Stonehenge on the Hudson, if you will—weren't the Durst Organization's first choice. "We wanted to have park trees here," explained vice president Helena Rose Durst. "We couldn't have a true garden. The shade would kill it."

The problem was that the space reserved for the urban garden, opened in 2010, faced north and east and was in a part of Manhattan better known for towering skyscrapers than natural light and open skies. "Also," added Ms. Ruddick, "they're going to be pointing toward the sun within a couple of years," perhaps giving the impression that the garden and the entire environmentally friendly Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum-rated building was listing south. "That really wasn't an option."

Approximately three-quarters of the plants died and had to be replaced soon after they were installed. Even today they require constant vigilance, though hardier, more opportunistic plants, such as ivy, have happily filled the voids where more fragile specimens have withered. "Coming from the environment of a greenhouse," observed Ms. Durst, who grows tomatoes on the building's roof, approximately 1,000 feet in the air, "I don't think it took us completely by surprise."

"When you have a green wall you can't just walk away," Ms. Ruddick said. "This had tremendous tweaking. This is not for the faint of heart. But if you'd planted trees and ground cover you wouldn't have gotten this amount of green." Ms. Ruddick would have had her work cut out for her no matter what. New York's urban gardens and vest-pocket parks are littered with the best intentions of architects who might previously have been on a winning streak. Most have been successful—successful at making people wish they lived and worked closer to an actual park.

"One of the things that inspired me," the landscape architect said, "was Jeff Koons's 'Puppy.'" She was referring to a giant 43-foot assemblage of paws, ears and flowering plants that graced Rockefeller Center during the summer of 2000. Hopefully, Ms. Ruddick meant the scale and the fact they managed to keep the foliage alive rather than the subject matter. If you'd simply moved the pooch to the Bank of America Tower, and even added a couple of kittens (may it rest in peace, though for all I know it's lifting its leg beside some monster fire hydrant in Ukraine or Dubai, if the rest of Mr. Koons's oeuvre is any indication), it wouldn't have worked.

"The real challenge here," Ms. Ruddick confided, "was how to do this without being kitschy."

I wondered whether they had considered a water feature. I love water features. The fastest way to serve up nature in a confined space is an indoor waterfall; even a trickle of the stuff over polished stones will do. "There's occupied space below," Ms. Ruddick explained. "Everybody was like, 'We're not even going there.'

"We wanted it to be something you could walk through," she added, but when they did the maquette, the model of the arch, it looked slightly, well, dorky. "I said we really need to get a sculptor on the team."

And she knew just the right person—her own mother, Dorothy Ruddick. She had studied with Josef Albers at Black Mountain College, designed fabrics for Knoll, and was perhaps best known for her sculptures of draped female figures reminiscent of ancient Greek statuary. Dorothy Ruddick's solution to the prosaic arch problem: add a twist, literally. Give it a bit of a bend.

"That one twist," said Ms. Ruddick, who worked with Montreal-based Mosaiculture International on the problem, "cost us three months of engineering time. "This is a sculptural one-off. This is not something you repeat."

Frankly, I don't know whether pedestrians taking a time-out from the passing tumult of city life on the couple of afternoons I dropped by appreciated the arch any more than if it had remained at right angles. They seemed almost as drawn by the chairs—the same models as across the street in Bryant Square Park, intentionally so because the Dursts wanted to reflect and perhaps piggyback off that open space's success. Indeed, the presence of the chess players suggested the Bank of America Tower atrium had become a winter months' alternative to the park.

"The language that's gone along with a lot of these buildings is a corporate minimalism," Ms. Ruddick said, referring to much of the city's lackluster recent architectural history, as she stood in the shadows, or should I say shade, of her teeming creation. "This was a little bit our push back."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703667904576072022547532698.html?m od=rss_newyork_real_estate

Derek2k3
February 8th, 2011, 08:26 AM
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5174/5405351219_5cb3098228_b.jpg
edwights (http://www.flickr.com/photos/58013617@N07/5405351219/sizes/l/in/pool-47438114@N00/)

From Trump SoHo


http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5173/5416612675_cdac8b1fc0_b.jpg
antonkisselgoff (http://www.flickr.com/photos/antonkisselgoff/5416612675/sizes/l/in/photostream/)
Torre Verre would've been fantastic in this shot.

Tectonic
February 8th, 2011, 05:47 PM
Seems like more buildings are lighting their tops. Ole Lehman Brothers Tower on 7th and CitySpire for example.

RoldanTTLB
February 16th, 2011, 06:06 PM
All of midtown from this evening with some municipal stuff in the way...

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5011/5451394001_b9de408b14_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/7799907@N05/5451394001/)

lofter1
February 16th, 2011, 08:07 PM
That municipal stuff does a good job of hiding some real fugly stuff.

Was that taken from an upper floor at Frank's new joint?

RoldanTTLB
February 16th, 2011, 11:57 PM
I wish! I'm supposed to see apartments there by appointment next Tuesday. We'll see if that happens or not. It's actually from the roof of the soon to be residential 116 John. We're not moving until 6/1, so I might be able to get more photos later.

Merry
February 23rd, 2011, 05:45 AM
In Detail> Lighting One Bryant Park

Cook+Fox and Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design

Aaron Seward

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/image/one_bryant_park_light_01.jpg
One Bryant Park has its own distinctive identity on the night skyline. Courtesy Cook + Fox

When the Durst Organization and Cook + Fox approached Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design (CBBLD) to execute the exterior lighting scheme for One Bryant Park, they already had a very clear idea of how they wanted their building to appear at night. The crystalline volume of the 55-story tower features a variety of facets, sliced away from the mass of the building, that orient views through the forest of midtown skyscrapers surrounding the structure. This is most apparent on the southeast exposure, which faces onto Bryant Park itself, where the corner of the building is cut away from the 22nd floor up through the parapet, creating an inverted triangular facade element.

Here, the architects established a double curtain wall, the exterior glass surface forming the smooth plane seen from the street, while the interior is notched in plan to create additional corner office space. Cook + Fox and the developer both wanted this inverted triangle to glow at night—to shine out on the skyline even brighter than the lantern-like, already glowing glass tower. And of course, the job would have to be accomplished without exceeding the stringent energy requirements demanded to achieve a LEED Platinum rating.

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/one_bryant_park_light_04.jpg (http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/one_bryant_park_light_04.jpg)

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/one_bryant_park_light_03.jpg (http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/one_bryant_park_light_03.jpg)
Top and above: LED cove lights installed within the wall cavity at the spandrels. The LEDs are tuned to a
cooler white than the interior, making the section stand out on the lantern-like building. [Click to enlarge.]
Courtesy CBBLD

As tall as those marching orders may have been, they were not the last of the challenges that the project presented to CBBLD. The design team was impressed, and concerned, by the minimalism of the structure and the clarity of the low-iron glass. These were great features for giving the tenants unobstructed views to the park and skyline, as well as for flooding the interiors with copious quantities of salubrious unfiltered daylight, but those same aspects made the space Teflon, so to speak, for electric lighting. There was nothing upon which the light could cling, no surface that would hold it and create the glowing effect the architects so desired. The joke around the office was that they would have to fill the cavity with smoke and shine light up through its hazy mantle for anyone to notice any illumination at all. Cook + Fox was unwilling to add anything to the structure or the glass itself that would impede the view/daylight continuum. Furthermore, they insisted that whatever fixtures CBBLD inserted into the space must not be visible from the interior.

In the end, the solution was quite simple. The architects wavered an inch from their transparency hard line and added a touch of translucent fritting on each exterior glass panel, high up where it wouldn’t trouble the eye. It proved enough, however, to catch the light and create a subtle striated pattern of illumination on the exterior, an effect, after all, that even matched the romantic rendering first presented to CBBLD. To make the light, the team settled on high-output 15-watt LED cove fixtures placed in the spandrel sections of the elevation, where they would be well out of sight. They also tuned the white LEDs to 5,000K, establishing a cooler light within the double wall that contrasts with the warmer, 3,000K-T5 fluorescent strip lighting on the building’s interior.

As elegant as the solution was, it didn’t work all the way up the elevation, where two other architectural conditions presented themselves—the mechanical floors, which run from 52 to 56, and the parapet, which goes from 57 to the sky. Cook + Fox wanted a consistency to the appearance of the lighting scheme in spite of these differences, and so CBBLD went about fabricating as close a facsimile of the office floors as was possible.

The mechanical floors step back from the lower parts of the tower, and on the resultant ledges, the team inserted frosted glass panels. They backlit these with floor-mounted 58-watt T5 fluorescent lamps, tuned to the same 3,000K color temperature as the office lighting. Within the cavity created between the frosted panels and the exterior wall, the designers placed the same 5,000K LED fixtures as used on floors 21 through 51, only bracket-mounted rather than cove. This strategy created a similar depth and contrasting tone of light as below. The team also backlit the rest of the mechanical floor’s facades, which are translucent glass, with 58 watt T5 fluorescent lamps, further reinforcing the consistency of lighting throughout the elevation of the building.

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/one_bryant_park_light_02.jpg
Courtesy Cook + Fox

Lighting the parapet, which extends in some places as much as 50 feet above the roof, was an entirely different ballgame. There would be no constructing of a backing wall of frosted glass, as on the mechanical zones. CBBLD also had to contend with the helter-skelter ambient light of nearby Times Square. The solution was to use 400-watt metal halide floodlights behind the double wall section to simulate the lighting provided by T5s below, and 269-watt metal halide up-lights paired with each vertical column of the glass wall to reproduce the effect handled by the LEDs. The remainder of the parapet was lit with 150-watt metal halide up-lights, again to establish consistency of light all the way to the tippy top of the tower.

Then there is the spire, which reaches a full 1,200 feet into the air. Cook + Fox and Durst felt this element should be lit in a changing array of colors, both to complete the overall architectural composition at night, and as a civic gesture on the skyline similar to that offered by the Empire State Building. In answer, CBBLD outfitted the spire, a sort of triangular vertical truss in form, with strategically placed 50-watt RGB color-changing LED up-light fixtures. The luminaires are linked to a DMX control station, allowing One Bryant’s management to adjust the color on demand.

CBBLD also completed the lobby lighting scheme, though there is no room to discuss that here. Throughout the project, CBBLD counted every watt; there isn’t an incandescent on the job. The watt-scrimping paid off. The lighting scheme helped the base building earn its LEED Platinum rating, and it did so without sacrificing a little splash on the exterior, proving that a building doesn’t have to be boring to be green.

http://www.archpaper.com/e-board_rev.asp?News_ID=5138

londonlawyer
February 23rd, 2011, 12:52 PM
This building looks magnificent when flying into NY at night.

lofter1
February 23rd, 2011, 01:43 PM
Did hell just freeze over ;)

londonlawyer
February 23rd, 2011, 02:44 PM
I've always been on record for quite liking this tower. Also, I think I'm the only person on the forum who quite likes GS. I appreciate the fact that it could have been a BP-style box and is not.

newhannibal
March 9th, 2011, 04:43 PM
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5212/5509438164_d33fbcb208_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanbudhu/5509438164/)
A True Rhapsody in Blue (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanbudhu/5509438164/) by newhannibal112 (http://www.flickr.com/people/ryanbudhu/), on Flickr

BStyles
March 10th, 2011, 12:00 PM
I love towers with these kind of roofs. It always looks like trying to lean into the picture.

lofter1
March 10th, 2011, 01:37 PM
Looking north on Sixth Avenue from around Bleecker this tower looks great at night -- the illuminated spire here and the ESB all lit up look like Oz in the distance.

arcman210
March 10th, 2011, 02:37 PM
Liked it in the renderings, was dissapointed at first in the finished product (curtain wall mostly) but thats grown on me, and this building is beautifully lit at night. Definitely a great tower.

Would have loved the second spire.

newhannibal
March 22nd, 2011, 02:05 PM
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5138/5549671835_82ddccb206_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanbudhu/5549671835/)
Three Icons, Two Landmarks (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanbudhu/5549671835/) by newhannibal112 (http://www.flickr.com/people/ryanbudhu/), on Flickr

Derek2k3
April 26th, 2011, 07:09 PM
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5185/5594210302_2ef12bd0ca_b.jpg
/gordonking2000 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gordonking2000/5594210302/sizes/l/in/photostream/)

Derek2k3
May 22nd, 2011, 09:42 PM
That western facet was a good move and surely intentional.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5296/5498203973_b826b6ed5c_b.jpg
deepak01 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/deepak01/5498174965/sizes/l/in/set-72157626387077006/)


http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5211/5498174965_08e89393b8_b.jpg
deepak01 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/deepak01/5498174965/sizes/l/in/set-72157626387077006/)

londonlawyer
May 22nd, 2011, 10:25 PM
This building is amazing! I hope that something nice rises across the street from it on the old flea market site.

antinimby
May 22nd, 2011, 11:17 PM
Those unimaginative boxes planned for the Hudson Yards certainly makes you appreciate this tower even more.

RoldanTTLB
May 24th, 2011, 01:45 AM
I know we talk about the tower a ton, but I really like the "new" subway entrances that were built with it. They're marble-y. I do wish they'd complete the passageway to TS that came with this and 4TS, though.

RoldanTTLB
May 29th, 2011, 01:08 AM
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5310/5769066375_74ff615169_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/7799907@N05/5769066375/)

BigMac
October 10th, 2011, 03:26 PM
41BSR (http://www.flickr.com/photos/68179970@N04/6206171024/) on Flickr
July 7, 2010

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6180/6206171024_ea01f9a87c_b.jpg

scumonkey
January 24th, 2012, 11:18 PM
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb276/scumonkey/-5webbed.jpg

Merry
June 3rd, 2012, 04:12 AM
http://distilleryimage4.instagram.com/87a09268acc511e19e4a12313813ffc0_7.jpg

http://instagr.am/p/LYEhTak8UI/

londonlawyer
June 3rd, 2012, 08:44 AM
I love this tower. Also, this corner used to be absolute sh.it, which makes this even more satisfying.

antinimby
June 3rd, 2012, 08:58 AM
This block used to be lined with stores. Now we are treated to watching emotionless BoA security guards staring back at you through the lobby glass.

I like this tower but they could have done a better job on the ground level from a pedestrian's perspective.

Less lobby. Less bank branch. Some more retail, preferably the non-chain variety.

londonlawyer
June 4th, 2012, 05:50 PM
This block used to be lined with stores. Now we are treated to watching emotionless BoA security guards staring back at you through the lobby glass.

There's a very nice restaurant on the 42nd St. side. The Tad's Steaks, gross deli, p.o.r.n. shop, and other little rat-filled warrens that were on this site were horrible.

ramvid01
June 4th, 2012, 07:39 PM
Well to be fair there would be no way this tower could have the same amount of stores as what was there originally, I mean it has to have a lobby.

I like the little indoor space they have but I feel that mid-block passage could be better utilized at least from what I could tell.

antinimby
June 4th, 2012, 08:11 PM
I did not complain about the restaurant although that particular restaurant always appeared slow in terms of activity. Maybe we do need some non-high priced, "rat-filled" types?

Let me say again folks: LESS lobby (not lobby-less) and more stores. Each with smaller spaces. Those features tend to liven the street level.

Oh and that passageway is a failure.

lugdus
July 16th, 2012, 09:37 AM
:cool:http://sarakatahira.com/chashama-gala-2012 (http://sarakatahira.com/chashama-gala-2012) Chashama's Gala took place last month in Anita's Way, the official name for the throughblock passage.

lofter1
July 16th, 2012, 12:51 PM
Who is ANITA?

Bkguy1985
July 16th, 2012, 07:16 PM
I did not complain about the restaurant although that particular restaurant always appeared slow in terms of activity. Maybe we do need some non-high priced, "rat-filled" types?

Let me say again folks: LESS lobby (not lobby-less) and more stores. Each with smaller spaces. Those features tend to liven the street level.

Oh and that passageway is a failure.

Maybe they should have done a retail base with escalators to an 2nd level lobby with better views if the park. Then again, thats probably not what BOA would have wanted so point is moot anyhow.

lugdus
July 21st, 2012, 10:30 PM
15984 Anita Durst, Founder and Artistic DirectorFounded by Anita Durst in 1995, chashama has been at the forefront of the movement to provide vital opportunities to artists of all stripes and expose new audiences to art through creative space redistribution. Landowners donate temporarily vacant properties that chashama recycles into creative hubs, and grants to artists, organizations and youth arts programs at free or highly subsidized rates. In the past year, chashama granted $2 million worth of space to over 500 artists, reaching an audience of nearly 200,000.
Join us at www.chashama.org (http://www.chashama.org/).

lofter1
July 24th, 2012, 01:01 AM
Chashama also had exhibits in the library recently razed on West 53rd, using the street level space to show art for about a year after the library cleared out.

londonlawyer
July 24th, 2012, 08:05 AM
15984 Anita Durst, Founder and Artistic DirectorFounded by Anita Durst in 1995, chashama has been at the forefront of the movement to provide vital opportunities to artists of all stripes and expose new audiences to art through creative space redistribution. Landowners donate temporarily vacant properties that chashama recycles into creative hubs, and grants to artists, organizations and youth arts programs at free or highly subsidized rates. In the past year, chashama granted $2 million worth of space to over 500 artists, reaching an audience of nearly 200,000.

Join us at www.chashama.org (http://www.chashama.org/).

Nice rack!

RoldanTTLB
July 31st, 2012, 07:10 PM
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7278/7687113894_043ccb2af5_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/7799907@N05/7687113894/)

NYBOY75
September 22nd, 2012, 11:43 AM
FROM: QUEENSNY121

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j50ufe83fc&feature=youtu.be

RoldanTTLB
October 8th, 2012, 01:16 PM
Here's a somewhat different angle...

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8460/8066982142_947bdf3c94_b.jpg

Incidentally, is the only way to get thumbnails to attach these images to posts? I'd be happy to switch over to that style of posting...

IrishInNYC
January 8th, 2013, 11:09 AM
16788

Aleks Ivic (https://secure.flickr.com/photos/aleksivic/8173897860/in/photostream)

lofter1
August 6th, 2013, 09:43 PM
Bank of America's Toxic Tower


New York's "greenest" skyscaper is actually its biggest energy hog


THE NEW REPUBLIC (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113942/bank-america-tower-and-leed-ratings-racket#)
By Sam Roudman

When the Bank of America Tower opened in 2010, the press praised it as one of the world’s “most environmentally responsible high-rise office building[s].” It wasn’t just the waterless urinals, daylight dimming controls, and rainwater harvesting. And it wasn’t only the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification—the first ever for a skyscraper—and the $947,583 in incentives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. It also had as a tenant the environmental movement’s biggest celebrity. The Bank of America Tower had Al Gore.

The former vice president wanted an office for his company, Generation Investment Management, that “represents the kind of innovation the firm is trying to advance,” his real-estate agent said at the time (http://http//observer.com/2008/05/al-gores-firm-clinches-lease-in-dursts-one-bryant-park/). The Bank of America Tower, a billion-dollar, 55-story crystal skyscraper on the northwest corner of Manhattan’s Bryant Park, seemed to fit the bill. It would be “the most sustainable in the country,” according to (http://http//newsroom.bankofamerica.com/press-release/bank-america-awards/al-gore-mayor-michael-r-bloomberg-bank-america-durst-organization-) its developer Douglas Durst. At the Tower’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, Gore powwowed with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and praised the building as a model for fighting climate change. “I applaud the leadership of the mayor and all of those who helped make this possible,”he said (http://newsroom.bankofamerica.com/press-release/bank-america-awards/al-gore-mayor-michael-r-bloomberg-bank-america-durst-organization-).

Gore’s applause, however, was premature. According to data released by New York City last fall, the Bank of America Tower produces more greenhouse gases and uses more energy per square foot than any comparably sized office building in Manhattan. It uses more than twice as much energy per square foot as the 80-year-old Empire State Building. It also performs worse than the Goldman Sachs headquarters, maybe the most similar building in New York—and one with a lower LEED rating. It’s not just an embarrassment; it symbolizes a flaw at the heart of the effort to combat climate change ...

arcman210
August 6th, 2013, 11:17 PM
Oops.

To me, every new building of this magnitude is anti green. We have too much technology, too much innovation... all things that rely on energy to be built, produced, run, and maintained. Nothing like good old fashioned passive design. Instead, it's all about money and showboating. The green their really after has nothing to do with the environment.

stache
August 6th, 2013, 11:55 PM
You can't have all glass and save energy costs.

Tectonic
August 7th, 2013, 02:45 AM
Yikes!

ZippyTheChimp
August 7th, 2013, 12:02 PM
The comparison isn't to some baseline standard, or with older building types.

The comparison is with all buildings, including those just like it - glass, technology, etc.

The surprise is that it's the worst, #1. Just looking from the outside, I would have thought it was GS, all ablaze at night. But it beat them out too.

HoveringCheesecake
August 7th, 2013, 01:07 PM
The comparison isn't to some baseline standard, or with older building types.

The comparison is with all buildings, including those just like it - glass, technology, etc.

The surprise is that it's the worst, #1. Just looking from the outside, I would have thought it was GS, all ablaze at night. But it beat them out too.

With all that sweet government money I'm sure GS sealed their building like a military bunker with NBC protection and all the bells and whistles.

lofter1
August 7th, 2013, 01:32 PM
Should we be all that surprised that LEED designations turn out to be a big joke?

Wasn't the LEED scheme created by builders as a way to pat themselves on the back and create a PR mechanism for developer investment & public $$?

More from the New Republic article ...


The nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) unveiled LEED in 1998 as a way to measure a building’s environmental footprint. It has grown into the most popular certification system for green buildings, with some 50,000 buildings either certified or in the certification process globally. A stamp from LEED signals “green” to the public, and it’s good for more than just PR: Some certifications can be cashed in for tax credits. In fact, many cities, states, and federal agencies now require new buildings to work with LEED.

To become certified, buildings earn LEED “points” for specific environmental interventions. The rating takes into account a variety of factors, like building materials, air quality, water conservation, and—of course—energy performance. When they accumulate enough points, they are awarded certification, which comes in the flavors of Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum (the highest).

LEED has helped create a market for sustainability where one didn’t exist before. The problem is that real-estate developers have been able to game the system, racking up points for relatively minor measures. A USA Today series last October found developers (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/10/24/green-building-leed-certification/1650517/) accruing points simply by posting educational displays throughout a building and installing bike racks—and avoiding measures that might be more costly and effective ...

“What LEED designers deliver is what most LEED building owners want—namely, green publicity, not energy savings,” John Scofield, a professor of physics at Oberlin, testified before the House last year ...

lofter1
August 7th, 2013, 01:38 PM
LEED Wars in the back rooms of Washington DC ...

The Hidden Beltway Lobbyists Who Shape Green Building Policy

LEED User blog
May 15, 2013

http://www.leeduser.com/blogs/hidden-beltway-lobbyists-who-shape-green-building-policy


and ...

USGBC Lobbying Activites from Open Secrets ...

http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=D000058065

US Green Building Council

Ninjahedge
August 8th, 2013, 03:47 PM
Great....


But the question is this: How much energy would this building have used, per SF, if it did NOT have these measures?


I am not applauding making an energy hog covered in LCD screens a "LEED Platinum" because it has bike racks and dims its lights at night, but is there any way to quantify the usage? Where is this energy being spent? Air conditioning? Client IT systems? Mood lighting?

kz1000ps
December 4th, 2014, 11:04 PM
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8580/15757831847_1843463ba8_b.jpg