6 Important Facts You May Not Know About One World Trade Center

by , 09/11/11
filed under: Architecture

one world trade center, wtc,world trade center, green architecture, eco architecture, sustainable architecture, skidmore owings and merrill, som, lower manhattan, green world trade center, twin towers, world trade center sustainable, sustainable design, green design, eco design

3. It will be green.

Since it was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merill, we’re not surprised to see that 1 World Trade Center will be green in several ways. The tower will have a fuel cell that will generate 4.8 million watts (MW) to power its various systems and will also use waste steam for electricity. It will also have a rainwater collection system and recycling scheme for its cooling systems. The heat that keeps the occupants of the tower warm in the winter will come primarily from steam, although there will be some oil and natural gas systems on site. The construction process itself is also earth-friendly and uses recycled content building materials including sustainably-harvested wood. The construction debris from the site will also be recycled. When complete, the tower is expected to receive a Gold Certification by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

4. It will be safe.

For obvious reasons, the engineers who designed One World Trade Center focused heavily on structural integrity and ease of evacuation. One World Trade Center has a reinforced, window-less base, that will be able to withstand a truck bomb. The walls will be 3 feet thick reinforced concrete walls for all stairwells, elevator shafts, risers, and sprinkler systems and emergency staircases were made to be “extremely wide” so that as many people as possible could exit the building as safely as possible. There will be a dedicated set of stairwells exclusively for firefighters and the ventilation system will be equipped with biological and chemical filters.

To reduce accessibility from West Street, the new building was placed 65 feet (at its closest point) away – forty more feet than the Twin Towers. Also, the windows that face West Street will be made of specially tempered blast-resistant plastic. Additional security will also be employed and of course, the NYPD will be on constant patrol. All vehicles entering the site will be screened thoroughly for radioactive and suspicious substances. And if you do visit the tower whether for business or pleasure, you’ll pass through a metal detector and inspected just like you might at JFK. There will also be a computer system which captures live video footage and analyzes it for potential threats such as suspicious parcels.



  1. Eva Kozy September 12, 2013 at 7:33 pm
    I moved out of the city (Cleveland) and now enjoy a vision of sunsets on the natural horizon. I cannot forget the excitement of the city, but the relaxation of the country holds greater appeal for me. My car brakes even got a break.
  2. TOTO NEPOMUCENO August 10, 2012 at 11:34 am
  3. sbaker May 21, 2012 at 4:22 pm
    "One World" Trade Center...scared me and I am apprehensive of why it is named "ONE WORLD"
  4. franyafranya September 10, 2011 at 11:12 pm
    Only recently did I learn about the 60-odd disabled (in wheelchairs and other) people who died on 9/11 because they could not use the fire stairs. A few heroic people did help some of the impaired workers, but the majority were sent to a room and told to wait, and nobody came for them in time, apparently. No matter how wide the stairs are in SOM's new tower, they will always be unusable for a certain segment of the population, and that, to me, throws the whole proposal into question. The kilometer high building going up soon in Dubai is even more criminal in that respect - it's designed by a former SOM studio head from Chicago, Adrian Smith. Let's face it, by and large, we've been fairly lucky with high-rise towers, as far as attacks and collapses go, but the previous comment's criticisms are well taken: towers are excessive economically and dangerous physically.
  5. lazyreader September 9, 2011 at 12:39 pm
    For starters the building will be as tall as it's predecessor. 1368 feet roughly. It's patriotic 1,776 feet height will be achieved with a 414 foot high spire. Costing 3.3 billion dollars, it's the most expensive office tower in the world. The building will have 2.6 million square feet of office space (for it's cost that's 1,269 dollars a square foot). 2.6 million sq ft for a city that doesn't need it. The original WTC had 13.4 million square feet of office space, even when it was destroyed Manhattan had a surplus of space to make up for the loss. Even now downtown Manhattan alone contains some 10 million square feet of vacant office space. This speaks more to the economic state in which we find ourselves, and the huge cost of building skyscrapers. Chicago had plans to build the 2,000 foot tall (150 story) Chicago Spire. Only to go into default and the project died. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chicago had a surplus of office space ready for occupancy. Chicago had dozens of various cancelled proposals for supertall buildings. Some under construction sit idle waiting for completion and have been scaled down from their original designs. Chicago may have been the birthplace of the skyscraper, but it's clearly not in the market for new towers anytime soon. Baltimore had plans to build a new mixed use tower called 10 Inner Harbor; at 771 feet (200+ feet higher than the current Legg Mason tower) it would have been the tallest in the state but was cancelled having defaulted on it's 26 million dollar loan. We already have plenty of highrises in major cities and existing ones (some of the most hideous ones) should be dismantled. Which would actually be a positive step towards improving the quality of city life. No more canyons, wondering when we might see the sun again. Cities with these megatowers suffer from extensive zoning (commercial districts) that drive it's working class populations out. One great vocal opponent of the megatower was the architect Constantine Doxiades; who coined the phrase "ecumenopolis" (see Coruscant in Star Wars). The instinct to climb up to some high place, from which you can look down on your world, seems to be a fundamental human behavior. I don't mind taller buildings and find some of the older ones impressive, still you get just as much of a visual impression from the shorter ones.