WNYC — the most listened-to public radio station in the country — just received LEED Gold Commercial Interiors honors for The Jerome L. Greene Space — their new performance space at 44 Charlton Street in Manhattan. The Greene Space was built to allow the public to be a regular part of the live taping of WNYC’s shows, and it keeps sustainability in mind from the ground up. With FSC-certified wood, low-VOC finishes, recycled drywall, and a bike room with showers, the Greene Space is just about as green as it can get.
The Greene Space is a special case for LEED, since it’s not only keeping the environment in mind but it is keeping the minds of New Yorkers full of the arts and culture that they so love. It’s a public place that enriches the community as well as their connection to the earth. In addition to taping live shows, WNYC’s Greene Space will host music concerts, literary readings, art exhibits, political debates, town hall meetings, and other public events. The theater seats 125 people and most events will be broadcast live on the internet, so millions more can tune in to watch for free.
In the construction of the space — which is located on the street level of the WNYC headquarters — they installed LED theatrical lighting, a bamboo stage, made use of natural light with an open window plan and installed a climate control system that is over 53% more efficient than code. WNYC was originally looking to gain LEED Silver certification but managed to rope in a Gold certification instead — proof that they tried their hardest to keep the impact of their new space to a minimum. The Greene Space is a heartening reminder that public radio is still alive and well, and that it’s keeping on the cutting edge of not only the arts and culture but environmental building practices as well.