Press Room

Audubon Again Raises The Standard For Green Workplaces

Continuing its tradition of pioneering environmentally responsible office design, the National Audubon Society has relocated to a new headquarters at 225 Varick Street in NYC's up-and-coming Hudson Square district. The 27,500 square foot office – which Audubon will lease for the next two decades - was designed and constructed applying the highest green design standards and aims to achieve the highest possible LEED® Certification for Commercial Interiors.

"We're excited that Audubon is again helping to raise the bar for environmentally-friendly office environments in New York City and beyond," said Audubon President John Flicker. "We believe that what we've done here, in a leased space, will be a model that can be replicated by more and more businesses and organizations. It certainly delivers on Audubon's responsibility to have a cost-effective, quality workplace that aligns with our environmental values and allows us to concentrate financial resources on achieving our conservation mission."

Audubon has a history and reputation for environmentally sensitive design for its office spaces as well as many of its nature education centers. When Audubon purchased and renovated its last headquarters - 700 Broadway - in the late 1980s/early 1990s, it was considered the first "green building in NYC." Audubon was able to capture significant returns on that first green design investment, and employed greater space-saving efficiency in making the move to smaller, cost-effective rental space that is specially built-out to keep the organization on the green leading edge.

Audubon's new home office incorporates a wide array of sustainable features, among them:

- Energy efficient systems focused on resource conservation
- Low flow and automatic fixtures reduce water usage.
- Energy Star Appliances are being used for a majority of the office needs.
- Under floor air distribution system
- Utilizes the natural buoyancy of air to heat and cool the space which requires less fan energy and allows for greater energy efficiency and improved occupant control as compared to ceiling supply and return systems.
-Sophisticated sensors and controls
- The interior lighting design achieves greater energy efficiency by using indirect lighting fixtures, low wattage bulbs, and a daylight harvesting system that automatically dims lights to adjust to the level of daylight present.
-Daylight penetration for the entire floor
- Large windows and furniture open-plan design allow the sun to provide cost and pollution-free lighting.
-Use of recycled and locally produced materials
- The office incorporates materials such as steel, drywall, carpet, and acoustic ceiling tiles selected for their high level of recycled content to reduce the need to extract virgin materials.
- Wherever possible, materials that are manufactured within a 500 mile radius have been selected to reduce the embedded energy associated with transporting materials.
- Most wood used on the project is either salvaged or certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to support sustainable growing practices.
- Cork and bamboo have been used on the project to support the use of rapidly renewable resources.
- Reducing the amount of landfill bound waste generated by this project has been a top priority.
- A Construction Waste Management Plan diverted more than 75% of construction debris away from landfills.
- The furniture was specifically chosen for sustainability in manufacturing.
- High indoor environmental quality
- Indoor air quality is boosted through the use of low emitting (or emission) paints, glues, adhesives, sealants, carpets, composite woods and furniture systems.
- A green cleaning program is being adopted to ensure that only environmentally safe clean solutions are used in the space to further protect the indoor air quality for occupants.

Many of these features all contribute to the collection of LEED certification points for Commercial Interiors under the system developed and administered by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED certifications have become the industry standard for green building across the country. A credit system introduced in 2004 expanded the LEED application to interior construction as well as new buildings. Today, there are 216 LEED certified Commercial Interiors and an additional 1,000 projects are registered to become certified, Audubon's among them.

"We hope that Audubon's credits tally up to rank our space among the greenest rentals in New York," added Flicker. "We already know that the energy efficiency and other green features will serve Audubon and our conservation mission well into the future."

Interior design and architectural services were provided by FXFOWLE; engineering services were provided by Flack & Kurtz; sustainability consulting services were provided by YRG Consulting; owners rep services by Bovis Lend Lease. The general contractor was Citadel Construction. Furniture was manufactured by Herman Miller.

Press tours of Audubon's new home office are available by appointment only.
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