New World Trade Center Complex to Pursue LEED Gold
September 20, 2006
September 11th marked the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the United States, and efforts are finally beginning in earnest to rebuild the shattered World Trade Center Complex in New York City. While many will rightfully focus on the memorial function of the new complex and its safety and security features, New York Governor George Pataki has also announced that the Freedom Tower and other buildings in the complex will be designed to achieve LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). An acronym for "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design," the LEED certification assures that the new complex will be a model of green building and will stand as a symbol of the city's commitment to a healthy and sustainable future.
The Freedom Tower; the World Trade Center Memorial and Memorial Museum; and World Trade Center Office Towers 2, 3, and 4 will all be designed to achieve LEED Gold certification and to be 20 percent more energy efficient than required by New York energy codes. The Freedom Tower and World Trade Center Office Towers will draw on four fuel cell systems for 4.8 megawatts of power, while the New York Power Authority and Silverstein Properties will buy a total of 184 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy credits to offset the remaining power needs for the complex. World Trade Center 7, completed early this year, achieved LEED Gold certification in March. See the press releases from Governor Pataki and the USGBC and see the description and photos of World Trade Center 7 on the New York Academy of Sciences Web site.
Construction on the Freedom Tower began in April and should be complete in five years, along with Towers 3 and 4, while the construction of the Memorial started in August and should be complete by 2009. So far, federal and state agencies have committed to occupy one million square feet in the Freedom Tower. The final Freedom Tower design was chosen last year, and starts with a cubic base equal in footprint to the original towers, then tapers to form a smaller square that is offset from the base by 45 degrees. The designs of Towers 2, 3, and 4 were unveiled on September 7th. See Governor Pataki's press release and the Freedom Tower design and news on the rebuilding from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.