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Sixteen-story office tower will use 40% less energy than an average NYC office building

Office Buildings

Sixteen-story office tower will use 40% less energy than an average NYC office building

The tower's innovative HVAC system features geothermal, radiant heating and cooling, and AI-driven building controls.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | May 15, 2023
Sixteen-story office tower will use 80% less energy than an average NYC office building
Renderings courtesy COOKFOX

This month marks the completion of a new 16-story office tower that is being promoted as New York City’s most sustainable office structure. That boast is backed by an innovative HVAC system that features geothermal wells, dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) units, radiant heating and cooling, and a sophisticated control system to ensure that the elements work optimally together.

The 555 Greenwich development is connected to the structural frame of the adjoining 345 Hudson St. office building. Its advanced HVAC technologies will result in whole-building energy use of less than half of its adjoining office mate and be 40% lower than an average large New York City office building, according to a news release from Hudson Square Properties, the building’s developer.

The tower is fully electrified with no fossil fuel use on site for any purpose. Even though it uses electricity to heat the building, it will use 40% less electricity than comparable commercial properties. The building employs a fully integrated radiant heating and cooling system fed by fluid conditioned in geothermal wells along with a dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS). Working in concert, the two systems optimize energy efficiency and thermal comfort. The DOAS also supplies fresh air for a healthier indoor environment.

A closed-loop geothermal system embedded in foundation caissons uses the steady temperature of the ground for heating and cooling. The geothermal and radiant heating systems effectively turn the concrete superstructure of the building into a large thermal battery. 555 Greenwich will be the first New York City office building to utilize these systems together in this way, the release says.

Advanced building control systems bolster sustainability. “555 Greenwich is pioneering the use of AI to efficiently toggle between the building’s multifaceted geothermal heat sources, predict heating and cooling needs in advance based on weather forecasts and occupancy patterns, and, over time, learn how to more efficiently transfer energy to and from sister building 345 Hudson,” the release says. “A key component of 555 Greenwich’s construction was a one-of-a-kind horizontal overbuild fully integrating the brand-new building with its century-old sibling, and the dynamic is a look at how modern technology can be integrated into older properties.”

Consulting engineers JB&B and sustainable design firm COOKFOX consulted with Swedish firm urbs to develop the leading-edge HVAC system based on concepts employed more commonly in Europe.

On the building team:
Owner and/or developer: Hudson Square Properties and Hines
Design architect: COOKFOX
Architect of record: COOKFOX
MEP engineer: JB&B
Structural engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
General contractor/construction manager: AECOM Tishman

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