Looking to build green at the W.T.C.Nov 15, 2008
While some politicians worry about the World Trade Center site being built on time and on budget, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. is worrying about the site being built green.
Every office tower is aiming for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold rating, but the site’s design guidelines go beyond simply meeting LEED standards.
LEED ratings typically apply to individual buildings, but the L.M.D.C. is tracking the sustainability of the entire 16-acre World Trade Center site, focusing on the relationship between the pieces as well as the pieces themselves.
The L.M.D.C. is taking a big-picture look at the site as much as possible, to do things like maximize the amount of sunlight that hits the open space by carefully planning the angles and placement of the buildings, said Mike Murphy, the L.M.D.C.’s spokesperson. The corporation also hopes to filter as much sunlight as possible into belowground spaces using vents.
The L.M.D.C. started working on the guidelines several years ago with the help of environmentalists, architects and other government agencies. The guidelines are not binding, but the L.M.D.C. will monitor whether the builders fulfill them.
Sayar Lonial, director of planning for the L.M.D.C., and Murphy presented the guidelines to Community Board 1’s W.T.C. Redevelopment Committee Monday night and received a largely positive response.
“It’s so incredible,” said Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of the committee. Bill Love, a community board member who lives in Gateway Plaza, asked if the green construction guidelines included limits on noise. Love and others who live near the site are frequently awakened by construction noise in the middle of the night because the Port Authority does not have to abide by the city’s noise codes.
Lonial replied that while the L.M.D.C. can monitor the noise and encourage the Port to reduce it, “We don’t have the stick,” he said. “We’re not that agent of authority…. The noise one is a tough one.”