Energy-Efficient Update For Group’s HQ

The New York headquarters of AJC, a global Jewish advocacy organization, were built way back in 1959. Now that old office building has learned some new green tricks, via an eco-friendly, energy-efficient retrofit that has taken LEED certification.

The retrofit project began in 2006 and involved, among other initiatives, a major overhaul of the building’s heating, ventilating, air conditioning and lighting systems, as well as improved building controls. Low-flow toilets were introduced, as was an efficient air chiller. All told, according to AJC Executive Director David Harris, the building has reduced its total power use by 45 percent, and water use by 20 percent.

USGBC LEED

image via U.S. Green Building Council

AJC is also making efforts to green its day-to-day operations by recycling 70 percent of its waste – in the form of paper, cardboard, plastics, metals, glass, batteries, light bulbs – and by developing a comprehensive sustainable procurement program that will ensure that 90 percent of its supplies contain sustainable features.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg lauded the AJC’s green retrofit in a letter, hailing it as a green design model for nonprofits and corporate citizens across the five boroughs.

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.