Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Where Sleeping Giants Lie
How absolutely absurd and embarrassing. A small group of us were on a building rooftop admiring the spectacular views of Manhattan when someone asked about the identity of a spired skyscraper. A few of us briefly deliberated and offered our conclusion which was not called into question - after all we were New Yorkers speaking and there with natives among us. Why do I say absolutely absurd? Because this is the second tallest building in New York City after the Empire State Building and we misidentified it. In our defense, however, depending on the vantage point and perspective, many a tall building can be out sized by a shorter one as is the case in today's photo.
The Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park is located on 6th Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd Street. The $1 billion project, completed in 2009, was designed by Cook+Fox Architects and is one of the most efficient and ecologically friendly buildings in the world. It was the recipient of the 2010 Best Tall Building Americas award by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
The tower received LEED Platinum certification on My 20, 2010. This is the first time in U.S. history that a high-rise commercial office building has attained the highest LEED green building rating for environmental performance and sustainability. Here are just a few of its green features (see more here from the Bank of America press release):
Air filtration removes 95 percent of particulates. Most outside air is taken in at 800 feet above street level.
Water savings of approximately 7.7 million gallons per year are achieved through graywater treatment and reuse, waterless urinals, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Graywater system captures and reuses nearly all 48 inches of annual precipitation.
Structural materials include steel made of 87 percent recycled content and concrete made from cement containing 45 percent recycled content (blast furnace slag).
Ninety-one percent of all construction and demolition waste was recycled or otherwise diverted from landfill.
On-site co-generation system provides approx. 65 percent of building’s annual electricity requirements, and reduces daytime peak electricity demand by 30 percent.
The Urban Garden Room provides green public space, reinforcing building’s street-level interactions as well as its connection to Bryant Park.
How could a number of Manhattan residents not be acquainted with a structure 1250 feet tall? Where could a world renowned, cutting edge, award winning, 55 story building hide and a resident not even be familiar with its existence? In New York City of course. Whether it is an Afghani rock star eating at a nearby table, a regular in a park wearing tattered clothes who is a concert pianist with two PhDs in pharmacology (see here) or one of the world's tallest and greenest buildings - hidden in the crowds of people and buildings among us, this is where sleeping giants lie ...