The first public building in New York City to receive LEED* certification is the new Bronx Library Center, designed by Richard Dattner & Partners. The building openend early this year — which received the official LEED certification in the dead of August when no one was paying attention — to rave reviews for inserting itself into Kingsbridge Rd. in the Bronx without losing its contemporary spirit. In addition to using natural light, clear sight lines and an adaptable open plan, the glass curtain wall and curved roof give the building a distinctive identity — even if it weren’t situated next to a Psychic Reader and across the street from a tattoo parlor. Dattner, which has been designing buildings in New York City since 1964, is now developing Green Design Guidelines for the New York City Schools, as a result of a law passed in 2005 that requires all public buildings to meet LEED certification. Of course, this is all good, but Chicago has been kicking everybody’s arse in the green building/green roof/sustainable development arena for years now. For a Metropolis feature article I wrote about this two years ago, click here: PDF version.
*Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, issued by the United States Green Building Council.