Often, high-rise buildings and sustainable building practices are on opposite ends of the environmentally friendly spectrum. But a recent groundbreaking at 555 Greenwich in the Hudson Square neighborhood of New York City sets out to change all that. In fact, the project sets the bar for sustainable architecture for NYC now and in the future.

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The completed project will address goals set by NYC, exceeding 2030 climate targets for office buildings by over 45%. It’s well ahead of schedule for meeting NYC’s 2050 target for carbon-neutrality as well. These goals are achieved through innovative technology that aims to serve the health of tenants and the environment. For example, an air return and filtration system ignores traditional HVAC, instead pulling and circulating outdoor air directly into the space to improve energy-efficiency and reduce contaminates. An air sampling and monitoring system evaluates air quality and makes adjustments in real time.

Related: ACPV designs Building D, an office focused on employee health

aerial rendering of office tower with plant-filled terraces

555 Greenwich will use radiant energy from the concrete to regulate the indoor temperatures. This system stands out, because, according to a press release, it will be “the first office building in NY to utilize radiant heating and cooling systems on each floor.” Similarly, it will be the only multi-tenant office tower to rely on a geothermal system for heating and cooling as well as energy storage.

Material selection also reflects the environmental goals through the use of recycled and natural materials. In the end, project designers hope to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The building will simultaneously stand out for its sustainable features while blending into the surrounding neighborhood of residential and business architecture.

On the left, rendering of glass office building covered in plants. On the right, rendering of plant-filled town hall outdoor space

The tower will feature retail space on the ground floor with office space above. The design includes floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light and city views as well as plants and terraces for a connection to the outdoors. 

Rick Cook, founding partner of COOKFOX Architects, said, “With 555 Greenwich, we have designed a building that will knit together the entire Hudson Square neighborhood by connecting Hudson Street to Greenwich Street, people to green spaces and gathering places, and the community’s past to its future, to envision a sustainable, healthy, and resilient model of development for New York.”

rendering of waterfront terrace

555 Greenwich was designed by COOKFOX Architects in collaboration with Norges Bank Investment Management, Hines Real Estate Investment Group, Hudson Square Properties, Trinity Church Wall Street, builders AECOM Tishman, CBRE Group, Inc., and Jaros, Baum and Bolles (JB&B).

+ Hudson Square Properties

+ COOKFOX Architects

Images via Hudson Square Properties