New Skyscraper, Built to Be an Environmental Marvel, Is Already Dated

Credit: Michel Engels/Unsplash

An imposing new skyscraper in the middle of Manhattan called One Vanderbilt appears to be reaching for the future. It is one of the tallest structures in the world, piercing the sky like an upside-down icicle and fusing seamlessly with an increasing network of railways and other modes of transportation at its base, as reported by The New York Times.

Science project?

This unusual building was also built with consideration for climate change. It contains a self-sufficient, disaster-resistant power plant that can produce as much electricity as six football fields’ worth of solar panels. Every raindrop that falls on the structure is collected, and the runoff is then used to heat or cool the 9,000 people that enter each day.

According to Jonathan Wilcox, head of engineering at SL Green Realty Inc., the organisation that owns it, “It’s a commercial-grade science project.”

Climate crisis

One Vanderbilt is another thing, though. It has already passed its prime.

In 2016, after design work was done, some of the structure’s most significant green components provided the ideal solution to the climate crisis. Then, Mr Wilcox said, “the answer altered.”

One Vanderbilt generates a large portion of its own electricity, unlike many other skyscrapers. A decade or two ago, this represented a significant advance—a method of generating electricity that allowed landlords to save money while being cleaner than the local grid.

A changeover 

One of Vanderbilt’s turbines does, however, burn natural gas. Furthermore, although being cleaner than coal or oil, natural gas is losing popularity, especially in New York City, which just passed some of the most stringent climate rules in the world, including a ban on fossil fuels in new structures.

SL Green was positioned in the centre of that changeover. The owner of One Vanderbilt had to watch as the city’s environmental policy advanced even though it was built reasonably swiftly and reached its peak after three years.

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Source: The New York Times


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