Audubon Society Cops Highest LEED-CI Platinum Rating Ever at 225 Varick Street

The highest scoring LEED Platinum project ever is right here in New York City: the National Audubon Society’s new office space at 225 Varick Street.

The National Audubon Society’s new office space on the seventh floor of 225 Varick Street has earned the highest point total ever for a Platinum LEED for Commercial Interiors certification. USGBC formally conferred the award late last month, and the project also received honors as one of New York Construction magazine’s Best of 2008 projects. We noted the project last February right after the Audubon Society moved into its new space; you may recall that during the 1990s it had renovated its former headquarters at 700 Broadway using similar sustainable design features, so green construction techniques were not foreign to the organization at all.

Designed by FXFOWLE and built by Citadel Construction, the 25,000-square-foot office was once home to a printing company, and a major design goal was to retain the space’s loft-like features. Accordingly, engineers WSP Flack + Kurtz designed the space’s HVAC system to eliminate overhead ductwork. The system also operates separately from the rest of the 12-story building (which was built back in 1926) and the project team also installed a separate cooling tower with new supply and return risers.

The office’s floors are bare concrete and treated with either natural cork or low-VOC sealants while countertops were installed with recycled glass and compressed paper. The space also features a daylight harvesting system and is insulated at three times code. In the images, you can see the five-foot wide access corridor that allows light to penetrate into the office core through double-paned windows. Congratulations to the Audubon Society on completing one of New York City’s best LEED projects!

About Stephen Del Percio

Stephen Del Percio has written for gbNYC+ since 2006 and currently serves as in-house counsel for one of the world's largest engineering, construction, and technical services companies. He earned a B.Eng. from Columbia, his J.D. at William & Mary, and lives in New York City with his wife and daughter. You can follow Stephen on Twitter, email him at, or join gbNYC on Facebook to continue the conversation.

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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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One Response to Audubon Society Cops Highest LEED-CI Platinum Rating Ever at 225 Varick Street

  1. Evan Santi Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 3:24 am #

    This is truly remarkable. It shows that even in an area of the city that has not been known to go green, major progress can be made. I remember when this building was a printing factory just outside the Holland Tunnel. Although it is a shame that most of the printing jobs are leaving Manhattan for LIC and Jersey City, it is amazing to see how they can transform a factory to beautiful green platinum LEED building. A shining example of what can be done; I hope other builders will follow their lead.

    Evan Santi
    Urban Plantscapes

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