NRDC Unveils Superlative Green Remodel

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending the natural environment. It only makes sense then that the organization would seek to go as green as possible in revamping its New York City headquarters, and that’s exactly what it has done.

A recent renovation of NRDC’s entire 8th floor–designed by Croxton Collaborative Architects–recently received LEED-Commercial Interiors (CI) Platinum certification. Not only that, but according to Environmental Design + Construction Magazine, it has garnered the highest LEED-CI rating ever awarded nationally or internationally–a good sign, considering NRDC  is approaching this project as a prototype for revamping its entire operations.

NRDC LEED Renovation1

image via Croxton Collaborative Architects

The big focus here was on energy efficiency. Towards that end, renovation plans called for the installation of a high-efficiency HVAC unit (40.3 percent more efficient than code), a lighting scheme designed to minimize energy usage (36.8 percent more efficient than code), high-performance window glazing, and a whole lot of eco-friendly insulation.

Daylighting in the space was optimized through an intelligent use of “ceiling geometries,” reflective surfaces, and a daylight responsive continuous dimming system. As a result of this meticulous attention to detail on conservation, the project scored 8 out of 8 possible LEED energy points

NRDC LEED Renovation2

image via Croxton Collaborative Architects

This eighth floor prototype is the first step in an organization-wide assessment of the resource/sustainable potentials of NRDC’s workplace aimed at, eventually, transforming NRDC’s other workplaces nationally and internationally along the same lines. According to Croxton Collaborative Architects, the project received an Honorable Mention from Environmental Design + Construction’s Excellence in Design Awards.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.