545 Madison Avenue: LCOR & Bovis Go for Gold

Bovis Lend Lease, which was honored by New York Construction as its Contractor of the Year in the magazine’s July 2007 cover story, is currently renovating 17-story 545 Madison Avenue (at 55th Street, built in 1956) into Class A office space that will seek a LEED Gold rating under Core and Shell (“LEED-CS”). Owner LCOR [...]

Bovis Lend Lease, which was honored by New York Construction as its Contractor of the Year in the magazine’s July 2007 cover story, is currently renovating 17-story 545 Madison Avenue (at 55th Street, built in 1956) into Class A office space that will seek a LEED Gold rating under Core and Shell (“LEED-CS”). Owner LCOR engaged Bovis to gut the existing building down to its structural frame (thus qualifying the property for LEED-CS) and installing a floor-to-ceiling glass curtain wall and high-performance HVAC, electrical, and mechanical systems. Specifics on green design features do not appear to be readily available. (Image of completed renovations via LCOR page for the project.)

The property offers 50 feet fronting Madison Avenue and 125 feet along East 55th Street. According to LCOR senior vice president David A. Sigman, the tower will offer 140,000 square feet to “seventeen or fewer boutique firms.” LCOR signed a 75-year ground lease in November of 2006 and Bovis began demolition efforts back in March. A first quarter 2008 occupancy is expected. Importantly, note that the architect on the project, New York City-based Moed de Armas & Shannon, also designed the renovations at the Verizon Building, of which I’ve previously written.

545 Madison is one of the more unique green building projects that we’ve seen here in Manhattan to date (though somewhat similar, albeit on a much smaller scale, to the renovations at the Verizon Building, which, again, is not pursuing a LEED rating). It demonstrates that owners are becoming increasingly savvy in the green context, finding ways to capitalize on both green goodwill (here, by attracting premier law and financial firm tenants) and in operating cost savings which are passed along to those tenants in exchange for higher rents (witness those at One Bryant Park).

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4 Responses to 545 Madison Avenue: LCOR & Bovis Go for Gold

  1. Preston Tuesday, July 3, 2007 at 5:29 pm #

    Okay, I was thinking about this. At what point does a LEED-EB project become at LEED-CS project? It seems like this will be an entirely different green building. Gutting it makes it a LEED-CS project? Is there overlap?

  2. Stephen Tuesday, July 3, 2007 at 8:20 pm #

    Thanks for pointing this out, Preston. LEED-EB requires three months of operational data, and building construction must be complete for at least a three month span before LEED certification can be pursued. I believe that USGBC now automatically registers LEED for New Construction projects under EB as well (for free), with the expectation that owners will provide the data necessary for certification once the building is operational. Here’s the link to the USGBC’s FAQ page on EB:

    https://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=2343

    Core and Shell is also designed to work with EB, but with the same constraints in terms of the three months of operational data that is a prerequisite to certification. It differs from LEED for New Construction in that it’s geared towards owners that are building speculative commercial projects. I agree that this is all somewhat confusing, and hopefully LEED V3.0 will help streamline the certification process.

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