The U.S. Green Building Council has just declared Manhattan’s Hearst Tower as the city’s first commercial office building to earn LEED Gold for its new construction and LEED Platinum certification for its existing building. The tower serves as the Hearst Corporation’s headquarters, where their operations and maintenance policies strictly adhere to the energy efficient and sustainable practices that LEED ratings require. Hearst’s CEO, Frank A. Bennack, Jr., announced the building’s impressive awards in a press conference today.
The Hearst Tower has had a long history in sustainable building and practices, and was named one of the first green office buildings in New York City back in 2006. The original 6-story Art Deco base was built from cast stone in 1928, and is an incredible example of adaptive reuse. The famous green glass tower expansion was added in 2006, and has since become a NYC landmark with its iconic diagrid-patterned façade.
The office tower has reduced its energy consumption by 40%, using a multitude of energy saving measures. It also has a strict recycling program, scaling back its landfill waste by 82% — also achieved with the aid of a tower-wide compost program that composts 100% of its food waste. Rainwater harvesters reclaim water that is used for cleaning and maintenance of the outside of the building, and working together as a team, the employees of the Hearst Corporation helped in achieving the coveted LEED Gold and Platinum certifications.
The Hearst Corporation hopes that their efforts will inspire other office towers, both in New York and globally, to create company-wide energy savings and sustainability programs.