NEW YORK CITY, New York - The U.S. Green Building Council gave the Bank of AmeriCorp Tower its highest rating for environmental performance and sustainability this Thursday, making it officially the greenest high-rise in New York City.
Completed in 2008, the 54-story building was paid for entirely with $2 billion worth of customer service fees, and became the first commercial high-rise to win a "platinum preferred" certification from the non-profit council.
Two billion dollars may sound like a lot of "green," but at 1,200 feet - making it the second tallest building in the city after the Empire State Building - the environmentally sound building stands to save the company even more green than that.
"They came to us and said, 'We want a building that will save us a lot of money, but money is no object,'" said project architect N. Esseff. "So, that was our goal from the get-go."
For example, the building has floor-to-ceiling windows to help the bank avoid paying lighting and heating fees, and electricity service charges, he said.
Waste water from the sinks and toilets is also recycled, in this case to avoid wastewater recycling and maintenance fees.
The roof even collects acid rain for later use, and the men's rooms have waterless urinals that Bank of AmeriCorp officials promised wouldn't smell like urinals. These measures alone save the bank millions of dollars worth of water usage fees per year.
In addition, the bank's steel girders were made entirely of repossessed automobiles, said N. Esseff, and the concrete and bricks were recycled from foreclosed homes.
Developers designed innovative new systems that remove carbon dioxide from the air to help people avoid feeling drowsy in the afternoon and keep productivity high. Plus, new technology allows heat efficiency without window tinting, so views from higher floors are sufficient to keep even non-coffee drinkers wide awake and alert.
The project broke ground just before the financial crisis that led to Bank of AmeriCorp acquiring Meryl Lynchmob and Countrywide Home Alone, so the "green" accolade comes at a time when the public is seething over the questionable ways in which Wall Street chooses to use its "green."
"We intend to change that, effective immediately," said Richard Warbucks IV, Bank of AmeriCorp's Chief Executive Officer. "We want the public to know that, while we are honored to have received this commendation, that isn't nearly as important as knowing that any savings made possible by this green skyscraper will be passed directly on to our customers, who have always been, and always will be, our number one priority."
As evidence that Bank of AmeriCorp's new environmental stance is indeed genuine, experts indicate Warbucks' statement was likely composed of 100% post-consumer waste.