New Buildings New York: Bank of America Tower Tour

New Buildings New York tour goers were introduced to the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park by Robert Fox, AIA, of Cook+Fox, E.J. Lee of Gensler, and John Lijewski of Bank of America. In a panel discussion they described the environmentally sustainable choices in the design and construction of this skyscraper that also aimed to increase the productivity of the workforce housed inside.

Fox highlighted the cogeneration plant that produces part of the base-load energy requirements for the tower. The onsite plant significantly reduces the energy loss associated with traditional offsite energy plants. During peak hours of the day, the plant helps to offset the building’s energy needs from outside sources, drastically reducing overall energy costs. During low-use hours, excess energy is used to create what Lijewski called “the largest ice cube tray in the world” from reclaimed rainwater. These large ice deposits help cool the building during peak load hours.

Lee explained the importance of views and natural light to create a positive and productive work environment. Fox fielded concerns regarding heat loss and energy costs associated with an exterior wall made from floor-to-ceiling glass. According to Fox, a large amount of insulation is achieved by small ceramic disks attached to the glass. Tour goers visited a typical office floor where they were able to inspect these disks, which are smaller than the tip of a pinky finger and do not obstruct views. Interior walls are made of clear glass wherever possible to maintain views and share natural light. The building also has personal air vents that allow occupants to control their own temperature.

New Buildings New York is a series of exceptional new building tours led by their architects and designers. The next tour will be of the 100 11th residences by Ateliers Jean Nouvel with Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners on Thursday, 05.13.10, from 6:00-8:00pm. For more information visit the Center for Architecture Foundation’s website at http://www.cfafoundation.org/.