Democracy Now! is an independent daily TV/radio news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. The nationally-broadcast program is currently building a new studio at 207 West 25th Street that is aiming for LEED Platinum certification under USGBC’s Commercial Interiors rating system. The 8500-square-foot space was initially slated for only LEED Silver, but is now on track for Platinum in the range of 43 to 49 total credits, with particular emphasis on recycled-content and reused materials.
Dennis Darcy, owner of Brooklyn Interiors, which is serving as the project’s construction manager, created a customized materials tracking system for the project along with systems architect Justin Laman. (The duo now offer their services through a new firm called Green Logic NY). According to Laman, “every -CI or -NC project can use this system to ensure they get all the points they deserve but, most importantly, it will help achieve many points they might have thought were out of reach. Using this type of system allowed us to do things like identify 90 percent recycled-content steel, manage all IAQ information, and maximize the use of rapidly renewable materials.”
Democracy Now!’s new space was once a printing house, which allowed the team to refurbish its factory-style windows and bring natural daylight deep into the interiors. All of the wood used in the renovation is FSC-certified and insulation is manufactured from recycled denim. The team uploaded every material receipt and LEED certification document into a project-specific website. It also created a customized database for Democracy Now! to view real-time updates on the project’s progress. Darcy believes that Green Logic NY’s tracking system will assist other clients as they pursue LEED certification. “It makes going green easy for everyone, as it should be,” he said. The project should be completed by the end of the summer.