Hearst Corporation President & CEO Victor F. Ganzi and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) President, CEO and Founding Chair Rick Fedrizzi today announced that Hearst Tower in Midtown Manhattan has achieved official “green” status-the first office building in New York City to be recognized by the USGBC for high environmental performance both on its exterior (core and shell) and interior fit-out and systems.
The U.S. Green Building Council, which has developed the nation’s only common standard of measurement for a “green” building and is recognized as the leading accrediting body for the industry, certified Hearst Tower at Gold status under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. As just the second certified “green” office building in City history, Hearst is being recognized for its pioneering approach to providing its employees and guests with a cleaner, healthier office environment, while acting as a conscientious corporate citizen in its conservation of energy and other natural resources.
“New York City and the Columbus Circle area of Manhattan have been Hearst’s home for nearly a century, and when we decided to build a new home here, we had to get it right,” said Ganzi. “Our approach to environmental sustainability is an outgrowth of our determination to build the best building for our employees, our neighborhood and our city. We are proud of this designation as it validates our hard work and hopefully raises the bar for future office towers in New York City.”
- Hearst settled upon an innovative “diagrid” system that creates a series of four-story triangles on the façade. In addition to giving the Tower an architectural distinctiveness, it provides the Tower with superior structural efficiency. As a result, Hearst eliminated the need for approximately 2,000 tons of steel, a 20 percent savings over a typical office building
- Hearst executives also selected an innovative type of glass that wraps around the exterior of the building. The glass has a special “low-E” coating that allows for internal spaces to be flooded with natural light while keeping out the invisible solar radiation that causes heat.
- Hearst installed light sensors to control the amount of artificial light on each floor based on the amount of natural light available at any given time. The optimization of natural light has been demonstrated in recent studies to have important, positive effects on occupant health, quality of life and productivity. Hearst also is utilizing technology that senses activity level.
- The corporation is using high efficiency heating and air-conditioning equipment that will utilize outside air for cooling and ventilation for 75 percent of the year, as well as Energy Star appliances. These and other energy-saving features are expected to increase energy efficiency by 26 percent compared to a standard office building.
- Hearst is also employing pioneering technologies in order to conserve and more efficiently use water. For example, Hearst’s roof has been designed to collect rainwater, which will reduce the amount of water dumped into the City’s sewer system during rainfall by 25 percent. The rainwater is then harvested in a 14,000-gallon reclamation tank located in the basement of the Hearst Tower. The water is used to replace water lost to evaporation in the office air-conditioning system. It also feeds into a special pumping system to irrigate plantings and trees inside and outside of the building. It is expected that the captured rain will produce about half of the watering needs while also serving to humidify and chill the Tower’s ten-story atrium as necessary.
Image via Lauren Manning