The World Trade Center and LEED

Hope rises from the ground at Battery Park in New York City.  Just blocks from the site of the World Trade Center, on of the country’s the biggest green building project is taking place in Battery Park City.Sustainable buildings are being erected with a “live, work and play” environmental theme near the busy financial district of lower Manhattan.  Visitors are surprised to see the open green spaces and how the harbor has been integrated into the design of the new high rises.This bittersweet project highlights the expanding direction the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED rating and certification program.  In New York State, Governor George Patacki approved generous tax credits for commercial green building enterprises back in 2000.  The tax program expires this year and advocates expect Governor Patterson to continue the green construction environmental stimulus and the LEED rating system is expected to be a major part of the new initiativesThis Battery Park project has combined the environmental expertise of the USGBC and the Congress for New Urbanism and the Natural Resources Defense System to develop the LEED – ND rating system.  This system specifically addresses urban development.LEED – ND is a certification program for green construction developers who strive to build sustainable neighborhoods with self-sufficient energy systems and harmonious ecological and cultural integration.  Not only does LEED – ND certification stand for environmental progress, but most states and certainly the federal government now embrace this form of urban development.  Like all LEED – ND certified buildings, the new Battery Park buildings utilize energy efficient systems that reduce consumption and reduce waste.The LEED – ND ratings are geared toward promoting compact urban designs that are near available mass transit and that feature buildings of mixed commercial uses and provide mixed housing in areas that are bicycling and pedestrian-friendly.  LEED – ND ratings have been developed by the LEED – ND Core Committee and the LEED – ND Corresponding Committee.Realtors and developers have joined forces to support green building in urban areas.  Upon viewing the project, Al Doyle, a Seattle Realtor, summed up the LEED progress; “This is something that needs to be done.  “Rating systems like LEED ensure that standards are met and that it is not just something coming from a Realtor or a developer.”

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