A Closer Look at One World Trade Center’s Green Design Features

More details have emerged about the green building technologies that will support One World Trade Center’s LEED Gold application.

1 WTC Under Construction - Dec 2011

Construction progress at 1 WTC as of December 2011.

For obvious reasons, the Port Authority has kept specific design features of the 105-story building that was formerly known as the Freedom Tower – including the advanced building technologies and green building elements supporting its pending LEED Gold application – relatively close to its vest. But recently more details have emerged about specific green technologies that the Port (and the Durst Organization, which holds a 5 percent, $100 million stake) are implementing at 1 WTC, which is on track for a 2013 completion:

  • Fuel Cells: Twelve fuel cell stacks from United Technologies Corporation will provide 4.8 million watts/hour of electricity, making One World Trade Center’s installation one of the largest in the world (according to UTC).
  • Waste Steam Recycling: Waste heat from the fuel cell installation will be recycled and used for both hot water and heating within lower portions of the tower. And an absorption chiller will also allow the system to provide up to 50 tons of air conditioning for the building.
  • Natural Daylighting: When daylight hits, dimmers will automatically lower interior office lighting within 15 feet of the building perimeter.
  • Recycled-Content Building Materials & Diverted Construction Debris: All of the building’s structural materials contain – at a minimum – 75 percent recycled-content materials. And Tishman Construction is on track to recycle 80 percent of the project’s construction debris.
  • Efficient Building Systems: Energy performance at One World Trade Center should reach 20 percent better than code; low-flow plumbing fixtures should drop water consumption by 30 percent.
  • Recycled Rainwater: On-site graywater systems will collect rainwater for building cooling, fire protection, and landscape irrigation.
  • Landscaping: The 400+ trees within One World Trade Center’s new main plaza were all sourced within 500 miles of New York City. They’ll also assist in cooling (and insulating) the below-grade National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
  • Low-Sulfur Diesel Fuels: Contractors on site must use low-sulfur diesel fuels. All vehicles have also been equipped with particulate filters to reduce  environmental impact of construction on local air quality.
  • Indoor Air Quality: Carbon dioxide monitors will be linked to air handling software in order to provide fresh air when necessary from over 3000 monitoring stations within the building.
  • Sustainable Forestry: Fifty percent of all wood products installed at One World Trade Center will be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

As you may recall, the General Services Administration of the United States signed a preliminary letter of agreement to lease 300,000 square feet at One World Trade Center back in October.  Coupled with Condé Nast’s 1 million-square-foot, $2 billion lease to become the 3 million-square-foot building’s anchor tenant, the deal pushed 1 WTC past the 50 percent-leased threshold; in addition to Condé Nast, GSA joined Chinese real estate investment firm Beijing Vantone (200,000 square feet) among the tower’s first three tenants.

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 stephen@gbNYC.com, or join gbNYC on Facebook to continue the conversation.

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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2 Responses to A Closer Look at One World Trade Center’s Green Design Features

  1. Anonymous Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    These are very low expectations for “green”

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