Bank of America's Global Strategy and Marketing Officer Anne M. Finucane and The Durst Organization's Chairman Douglas Durst and President Jody Durst were joined today by Nobel Prize winner, former Vice President, and building tenant Al Gore, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, U.S. Green Building (USGBC) Council CEO and founding Chair Rick Fedrizzi, New York City schoolchildren and several hundred guests to officially open the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park at 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue in New York City. The building is the first high-rise commercial tower in the United States to achieve a "LEED Platinum rating" for environmental performance and sustainability from the USGBC.
Continuing its commitment to New York City and environmental causes, Bank of America donated $125,000 to the New York City School Gardens Initiative. The funding will help 120 public schools start a garden. At the ceremony, a small mobile garden was planted with three New York City fourth-graders, Nyshia Lawson, Robert Nunez, and Xyrus Roman from PS43 in the Bronx. The garden was transferred to the school after the event.
"Through PlaNYC, our Administration has taken major steps to ensure New York City is at the forefront of sustainable design, and part of that entails relying on the City's private sector to help lead the way," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The Bank of America Tower is a terrific addition to the City's sustainable landscape and will serve as an inspiration for others. Bank of America's contribution to the New York City School Gardens Initiative is yet another sign of its commitment to our City's future."
Al Gore said: "Any serious effort to solve the climate crisis must start with recapturing the enormous amounts of energy wasted due to inefficiency. Roughly 30 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions here in the United States come from heating, cooling, and lighting buildings. I'm honored that my firm, Generation Investment Management, is based here and I applaud the leadership of the Mayor and all of those who helped make this possible."
Anne M. Finucane, Global Strategy and Marketing Officer, Bank of America, said: "This Tower at One Bryant Park is much more than the Bank of America headquarters in New York City - it is a magnificent example of environmentally sustainable building, and it symbolizes our continued commitment to the global environment and to the City of New York. To celebrate the Tower's opening, we are pleased to support public school gardens, and make an investment in the health and education of New York City children."
Douglas Durst, Chairman, The Durst Organization, said: "Bank of America's commitment and the architects' vision made this tower possible. For The Durst Organization, it is an honor and a responsibility to be able to give such a magnificent tower to New York City. It is especially fitting that this building, the most sustainable in the country, stands in New York City. For decades, New York has been the leader in building innovative, record breaking and modern buildings, and today, we have added a chapter to this rich history."
The U.S. Green Building Council certified the Bank of America Tower under the LEED Core & Shell designation, recognizing the entire design and construction team for its pioneering approach to providing occupants with cleaner air and more natural light, while conserving energy and other natural resources within the building.
The 55-story, 2.1 million square foot Bank of America Tower, designed by Cook + Fox Architects, utilizes a wide range of high performance environmental strategies and technologies to enhance the health and productivity of its tenants, reduce waste, and promote environmental sustainability. An exquisitely clear, high-performance glass curtain wall permits maximum sunlight and views to the outdoors while blocking unwanted heat. An advanced under-floor air delivery system allows for individual control of heating and cooling and provides clean filtered outside air.