270 Park Avenue – the headquarters of JPMorgan Chase, between East 47th and 48th Streets in Midtown – recently became the largest renovation project to date to earn a LEED Platinum rating from USGBC. The renovation (which earned the designation under LEED for New Construction Version 2.2) should cut 270 Park’s overall energy consumption in half and save over one million gallons of water annually.
The renovation was performed while the building remained in operation. In order to minimize disruptions to employees and building systems, 400 construction workers completed the project in phases while working on up to ten floors simultaneously. Specific design features that supported the project’s LEED Platinum application included:
- New building systems to improve energy efficiency, including heating and air conditioning equipment; lighting with occupancy sensors and daylight dimming controls; Energy Star kitchen appliances, computers and monitors; and new building insulation and window tint to reduce glare, heat gain and air conditioning load.
- A 54,000-gallon basement tank that collects rain water from drains on the roof and plaza, which is stored and filtered, and then used in landscaping and to flush toilets in the lower part of the building, which should save more than 1 million gallons of water a year. Combined with other plumbing upgrades the building will use half as much water as pre-renovation.
- Nearly 16,500 square feet of new landscaping, including green roofs, that feature low-maintenance plants to help lower building temperatures in the summer and reduce storm water runoff.
- Reusing over 99 percent of the original building during the renovation and recycling more than 85 percent of construction waste including 990,000 square feet of carpeting. And over 12,000 tons of construction waste was diverted from landfills.
- New floor designs and layout give 85 percent of employees natural daylight at their desks, with more than 92 percent having exterior views.
- 266 bicycle racks.
Built in 1961 and designed in the International Style by Skidmore Owings & Merrill, the 1.2 million-square-foot, 52-story 270 Park Avenue was once known as the Union Carbide Building, serving as the headquarters of the eponymous chemical manufacturer until it relocated to Danbury, Connecticut in 1983.