BANK OF AMERICA – New Heights in Eco-Construction

BANK OF AMERICA - New Heights in Eco-ConstructionCASE STUDY

Real world stories about innovators and innovative companies are an important way to learn and we place high value on them at Innovation Excellence. We are very pleased to begin a series of case studies on companies who have been curated by Hult International Business School and Center for Innovation, Excellence and Leadership (IXL Center) in their book Greenovate!

 CASE STUDY - BAE SYSTEMS - HybriDrive® Propulsions SystemsThe book Greenovate! documents 53 case studies that are defined by “sustainable, green innovations” (or “green ovations”). Each profile combines business innovation with a synthesized concept of sustainability, from startups to leading global organizations. The next case study in this special Greenovate! case study series is:

BANK OF AMERICA – New Heights in Eco-Construction

Design a tower to incredible resource efficiency standards to reduce operating costs and increase the quality of life for tenants


The tower incorporates eco-efficient designs, materials and sophisticated environmental technologies such as cogeneration plants. Generates cost savings and enables the building to command higher price premiums.


Numerous passive and active sustainability measures: from floor plans that maximize sunlight, to onsite renewable power, to a cooling system that makes ice at night during off-peak hours that is used to cool the building during the day


The tower generates 70% of its own power, reduces energy consumption by 50%, water consumption by 50%, and has a zero carbon footprint. With a LEED-certified platinum rating, it sets a high standard for commercial building construction.



In addition to being the 2nd highest building in NYC, the architects and developers committed to building the most energy-efficient, water-saving, healthful office tower ever


Based on a 2006 survey, green buildings have higher rental income due to 3.5% higher occupancy rate and 3% higher rent and lower operating cost of 8%-9%, leading to better financial returns


In 1998, the firm made an unprecedented 10-year, $350 billion commitment to corporate social responsibility — the Bank of America tower would become the largest initiative of the entire campaign



New York-area carting companies that haul out waste from construction sites charged extra to sort and recycle construction debris into steel, concrete and other material groupings


Bank of America wanted to install waterless urinals which had been rarely seen or requested in NYC at the time of construction — the city’s building code did not even allow them


Using new technology could mean less work for laborers, making unions reluctant to approve their implementation — an example is the plumber’s union’s objection to the implementation of waterless urinals



Since 90% of the BofA tower construction wastes can be recycled, the carting companies have realized their value — they lowered their prices and became more cooperative as a result


New building codes for NYC based on international building codes were implemented in mid 2007 — they now allow for waterless urinals as long as they are part of a larger water-saving design


The implementation of new technology such as a rainwater collection and distribution piping system will mean even more work than installing traditional systems, which will satisfy labor unions



Energy and water savings are estimated to reach a minimum of 50% and productivity gains will reach 10-15% due to cleaner air, more daylight and a more comfortable work environment


Despite the high rent cost and the recession, the tower was 98% leased by 2007, attracting firms such as General Investment Management to its environmental and architectural innovations


Green design has become the trend in New York — the BofA tower is joined by others such as the Hearst Tower, 7 WTC and the New York Times HQ as symbols for environment-focused architecture


After opening in 2009, the eco-friendly design, construction and operation of the Bank of America Tower will make it the first skyscraper to receive the highest sustainability certification — Platinum — by the US Green Building Council’s LEED rating system.

image credits:; ixlcenter

Clearworks - Customers, Connections, Clarity

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Tyler McNally, Ronald Jonash & Dr. Hitendra Patel are co-authors of  Greenovate! — Companies Innovating to Create a More Sustainable World and members of the leadership team at IXL CENTER, the Center for Innovation, Excellence & Leadership at Hult International Business School.

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