Volume 20, Number 40 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | September 22 - 28, 2010
Photo courtesy Tishman Speyer
375 Hudson (above) is the first building to be retrofitted and gain GOLD-LEED Certification.
Building stands head and shoulders above its peers
BY Aline Reynolds
An office building in the heart of Hudson Square has achieved a status that no other building has in the entire city.
The approximately one-million-square-foot office building at 375 Hudson Street has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The building has also received the Energy Star label from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its energy efficiency.
“It’s something that we’re greatly proud of – not only for enhancing the overall sustainability of the building, but for doing so in concert with our tenants, who gave us their unbridled cooperation,” said Thomas Farrell, senior managing director of the real estate company Tishman Speyer, owner and operator of the building.
Through large-scale improvements and retrofits, 375 Hudson became the first existing office building to be retrofitted and achieve Gold LEED-certification citywide in July. Speyer significantly reduced its electricity and steam consumption by altering its heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems. The building also lessened its annual water consumption by a million gallons by upgrading its original restroom fixtures. The company also enforced a “green cleaning” policy, which improved the building’s air quality and provided janitors with sustainable cleaning supplies.
Built in the late 1980s, 375 Hudson contains advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, publishing house Penguin Group, Turner Construction and a variety of other businesses, several of whom have helped in the building’s “green” efforts.
“We really need our tenants’ assistance for actionable data,” Farrell said. “We would have conversations with them about their lighting and toilet fixtures.”
With the help of Saatchi & Saatchi and other 375 Hudson office tenants, Speyer also expanded the building’s recycling program to include batteries, electronic waste and construction debris in addition to office paper and waste.
“It’s stuff we’d normally throw away in the landfill,” said Saatchi & Saatchi Human Interest Associate Erin Lyons, but the company has undertaken its own sustainability initiative to conserve such materials.
Saatchi & Saatchi also garnered outside funding to create a rooftop garden, where it grows 100 or so organic vegetables and herbs from local gardeners.
“It gives people a chance to get up onto our roof, decompress and have camaraderie,” Lyons said.
Heidi Kagan, Penguin Group Vice President and Director of Building Administration, said in a statement, “Penguin Group (USA) has been investing in a greener future for years now and we continue to implement programs that have a positive impact on the environment, the company, our employees, and the building where we work. It’s very gratifying that our ongoing efforts and commitment to sustainable practices contributed to this acknowledgement.”
Turner Construction Company’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Michael Deane, said, “We congratulate Tishman Speyer on the LEED Gold Certification for 375 Hudson Street, our headquarters in New York. Turner, the largest green builder in the United States, shares Tishman Speyer’s commitment to sustainability, and welcomes the improvements that have made the building more energy and water efficient while providing a healthier working environment for our employees.”
Tischman is also in charge of supervising the construction and design of the world headquarters of an international bank project, a new building that also achieved LEED-Gold certification. Speyer would not disclose the name of the bank due to a confidentiality agreement with the company.
Achieving the second highest national “green” ranking at 375 Hudson is “a testimony to the way it was built to begin with,” Farrell said. “It just gives us another weapon in our arsenal to really think about metrics to enhance building performance – how we look at building systems, and how we evaluate data and act on it.”