Top 5 New York City Green Buildings: 2007

We offer up a list of the top 5 green buildings that were either completed or received a LEED rating here in New York City during the course of 2007.

It might be a bit early to start looking back on what has been a truly watershed year for the green movement at large, and green building in particular, but here’s our stab at the top five green buildings in New York City that either received a LEED rating or were completed during the course of 2007. Note that not all of the buildings on our list actually sought certification, and some have yet to receive the designation from USGBC.

There’s nothing scientific to our methodology here, but we’ve selected projects that we think were important for a unique reason. Still, the real winner this year was the Big Apple itself, which saw an increasing number of green buildings break ground across a wide variety of sectors. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts- or if you think we missed a particularly deserving project- in the comments below.

#1: Queens Botanical Garden Visitor’s & Administration Center

The Visitor’s Center at the Queens Botanical Garden in Flushing tops our list as the first LEED Platinum building in New York City (once USGBC officially confers the designation). Designed by BKSK Architects to reflect the surrounding natural landscape of the Botanical Garden, the Center is an excellent demonstration of design excellence intersecting with sustainability. The project officially opened to the public at the end of September.

#2: New York Times Tower

The Hearst Tower, which sits just under a mile north of the New York Times‘ new headquarters, grabbed most of the green headlines along Eighth Avenue this year, certainly in part because it earned LEED Gold and the Times Tower chose not to seek a LEED rating. Still, Renzo Piano’s new headquarters for the Times is a sustainable building under any standard, and is symbolic of the wave of green construction that’s gripped Eighth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen, from the Times Tower and neighboring 11 Times Square, which will seek LEED Silver on the other side of 41st Street, all the way up to the Hearst Tower on 57th Street, as well as recent news regarding LEED Gold 20 Times Square which will soon take shape across the street at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. The New York Times moved into its new home over the summer; its public lobby is definitely worth checking out.

#3: Morrisania Homes

The Morrisania Homes, an affordable housing development in the Bronx, achieved a notable first in October when it earned New York State’s first LEED for Homes (“LEED-H”) certification from USGBC. The complex opened up to residents back in August and achieved 62 of 108 points on its way to a Silver rating. The project should result in a 30 percent reduction in energy consumption and successfully diverted 96 percent of construction waste from landfills. The project is particularly noteworthy both as the first LEED-H-certified project in New York City, as well as demonstrative of the trend towards sustainability in the affordable housing sector that continued to increase during the course of 2007.

#4: OEM Headquarters

Designed by Swanke Hayden Connell Architects on Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn, the four-story headquarters for the New York City Office of Emergency Management (“OEM”) makes our list as the first LEED-certified headquarters of any Gotham city agency. USGBC awarded the project a LEED Silver rating back in August; the building officially opened in the fall of 2006.

#5: Riverhouse: One Rockefeller Park

We’re cheating a bit here; the Riverhouse was scheduled for fourth quarter occupancy this year, but it’s behind schedule somewhat and residents won’t be moving in until next February. Nevertheless, the project, developed by the Sheldrake Organization, is important because Sites 16/17, the 45,000-square-foot parcel on which Riverhouse will sit, are one of the the final four residential development parcels in Battery Park City. (The new headquarters under construction for Goldman Sachs is on BPC’s last commercial development parcel). Riverhouse is the fifth project built under Battery Park City’s green development guidelines, and is on track to receive a LEED Gold rating from USGBC.

about gbNYC

gbNYC is a multi-disciplinary consulting and real estate services firm. In addition to representing office tenants and commercial buyers in leasing and acquisitions, we also provide innovative consulting solutions from a unique, green building perspective. We advise on green building financial incentives, comment on proposed green building marketing strategies, author white papers, treatises, and market analyses, organize seminars on the LEED process and professional accreditation, and provide advice and analysis on green building risk management and the overall state of green real estate, leasing, and construction, in New York City and beyond.

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3 Responses to Top 5 New York City Green Buildings: 2007

  1. Charlotte Albright Wednesday, December 5, 2007 at 7:41 pm #

    I am very pleased to see buildings in NYC going green. I could only imagine the extra “up front” cost associated with installs and updates. This makes a good impression to the international community.

  2. Abby Friday, January 30, 2009 at 3:39 pm #

    hello my name is Abby and i an having convenchom at my school and fof my trifold i have to look up 5 cities in new york because thats what my part ia and i tried 15 other helping wbsites pleas e-mail me
    Abby Lee


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