A Visit to the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park
BuildingGreen goes to town! On our way to D.C. for this year's AIA Convention, we stopped in NYC for a tour of the Bank of America tower that took us from the subterranean depths to the highest heights.
For a number of reasons, the Cook+Fox-designed Bank of America tower at One Bryant Park is an object lesson in how difficult it can be to compare the energy performance of buildings that don't fit neatly into a typical category (is it a data center or a commercial office? a lot of both, and it also has its own power plant).
But for four of us from BuildingGreen, today it was mainly a chance to enjoy the company of the people who care for this building—and to listen to them geek out about cogeneration, ice storage, and the importance of light for the well-being of everyone on staff (not just the people in cubicles). I snapped a few shots while we were there.
During our bright and sunny lunch in a Durst Organization conference room on the 49th floor, there was a bit of chatter about the "inverse relationship between daylight and self-loathing," or something along those lines. Unfortunately, of course, the workers who run the cogen plant don't get natural daylighting in their workspace.
But, says Don Winston, P.E., vice president for technical services at Durst (which co-owns the building, along with Bank of America), these workers are not neglected. When asked about lights in maintenance hallways being on 24/7, he told us that these areas are overlighted on purpose. First, there are safety considerations, but there's also "pride of place." Staff members who don't feel like they've been confined to a dungeon or hidden away in a cave feel valued and take pride in their work.
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Some of the fluorescent tubes throughout the building have been replaced with LED lamps.
The chiller room also features this enormous screen. When we arrived, they had just had an uptick in load and were switching to a smaller chiller. Wait, why a smaller one?
The system keeps track of the complex interactions of the cogeneration plant, the chiller activity, and the ice storage.
The cogeneration plant was like a steampunk pipe dream!
One of the biggest challenges of this project was dealing with fire safety. Because the plant uses pressurized gas underneath floor upon floor of commercial office space, the fire department was understandably wary. Onsite power generation can be a big hurdle anywhere, but in a big city where real estate prices are at a premium, the challenges can be overwhelming. The project pushed ahead, though, and the plant is performing just the way Durst hoped it would. But Don said they're not stopping with that. They are constantly monitoring and improving.
(2012, May 16). A Visit to the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/blog/visit-bank-america-tower-one-bryant-park