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!