Cook + Fox Architects’ 12,000 square foot office space at the former Simpson Crawford Simpson department store in Chelsea is one of four New York City office spaces that have been certified to date under the LEED for Commercial Interiors (“LEED-CI”) rating system (the other three belong to Herman Miller, Dagher Engineering, and Gensler). The space was profiled in an article earlier this week in the New York Times, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t briefly mention it here at gbNYC. As you may recall, Cook + Fox designed LEED Platinum hopeful Bank of America Tower for the Durst Organization, and its Chelsea offices are similarly sustainable as the only Platinum LEED-CI space in New York (Dagher and Herman Miller earned Gold, Gensler Silver). As the Times notes, of the 112 offices in the U.S. that have earned certification from USGBC under LEED-CI, only 12 have reached Platinum.
Green features at the office include denim insulation, waterless urinals, a 3,600 square foot green roof, and the use of various recycled-content materials. The firm also provides each of its Chelsea-based employees with $10 to purchase a plant for his or her office space, and an air filtration system removes eighty-five percent of particulate matter. The Times references an interesting statistic from USGBC; approximately eighty-five percent of offices that have earned certification under LEED-CI are connected in some way to the real estate industry. This is important because, as the article also points out, firms like Cook + Fox that actually obtain certification have much more credibility in the eyes of their clients when they encourage them to implement sustainable design features that may carry a cost premium.