Facade details

Client: AIA Center for Architecture
Location: New York, NY
Size: 430,000sf
Program: Prototype for small-footprint, high-density Sustainable Office Development, Owner-occupied office building with aggressive energy reduction goals
Cost: N/A
Status: Exhibition completed

Key Roles: Anthony Fieldman, former Principal and lead project designer, Perkins+Will

Perkins+Will, Architects of Record; ARUP, Engineers of Record

Images: Unless otherwise noted, copyright owned by Perkins+Will Architects, PC - used by permission


According to the U.S. Department of Energy, currently about 40% of the energy consumed in the United States is attributed to buildings. Buildings = Energy explores how critical choices by people in the fields of design, planning, engineering, government, building management, and occupant behavior can make positive energy changes in our cities. Each portion of the exhibition uses a different lens to look at energy: from calculating embodied energy in building materials, to the process of design decisions made across a building’s lifecycle, to tools used to assess and analyze energy, to municipal and community programs that bring awareness to energy issues in New York City’s built environment.

In developing a prototype to illustrate how real-world choices - available, implementable and commercially competitive strategies - can result in office buildings that use 50% of the equivalent energy of the average New York City-based tower. Many of these choices are free - that is, they are choices related to the building’s massing / solar exposure; it’s effective width, hence distance from daylight to occupant; the location of its elevator/mechanical cores, and their relation to solar exposure; its fenestration (windows) and their size and location relative to optimizing daylight penetration and access to views. Others choices save money but take decided stances on issues of occupant behavior, such as requiring occupants on 2 of every 3-floor group to walk up or down one flight of stairs to catch an elevator, thereby reducing related energy use and influencing both health and community; or putting database information related to real-time energy use related to lights and computers, informing and encouraging people to turn off both when not in use. Further, there are critical choices related to waste stream and re-use of materials, from familiar recycling to less familiar regional sourcing of materials and their re-use. Lastly, there are ‘poster-children’ of green technologies, like solar hot water collectors and photo-voltaic panels. These last renewable energy strategies are necessary, to be sure, but in the end our hope was to illustrate that they are but one set of choices in a systemic approach to sustainable behavior that can save investment dollars, save operational dollars, improve life quality for building occupants and reduce the energy burden on the planet.

Exhibition poster - Image credit: Center for Architecture

Building location diagram

Sustainable Strategies diagrams - choices

Photograph of exhibition - Image credit: Center for Architecture