Four Times Square
New York, NY

"When we started planning Four Times Square, there was never any question that the building would be ecologically responsible. But this decision really took us to a different level, we had to apply our knowledge to new construction and push the learning curve considerably further." -- Douglas Durst, President, Durst Organization


This new $500 million office tower located in the heart of Manhattan's most famous commercial district is 48 stories high and 1.6 million total square feet. It is the first skyscraper to embrace standards for energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and sustainable materials use as well as responsible construction, operations and maintenance procedures. Commercial and retail tenants will be moving in throughout 1998 and are encouraged to participate as responsible residents of this unique building. To that end, a library of green information and environmental guidelines was distributed to tenants and their architects. Operational costs are expected to be 10-15% lower than a comparable project. Douglas Durst, president of the development company behind the project calls Four Times Square "a shining example for the commercial real estate community."


DOE-2 energy simulation modeling software was used to select preferable lighting systems. Lighting strategies include LED signage, occupancy sensors and fiber optics. The building facade is largely glass, providing excellent daylighting opportunities. Windows have high visible light transmittance glass with a shading coefficient of .30.

Energy Efficiency
Again, DOE-2 energy simulation modeling software was used to maximize energy efficiency strategies. The central cooling plant runs on natural gas. Direct fired absorption chillers and heaters use no CFCs or HCFCs. The payback time for this equipment is approximately three years. Other features include variable speed drives, VAV systems, and direct digital control and monitoring.

The building also generates fuel cell and photovoltaic power. The building is currently planning for two fuel cells to be located on the fourth floor. The fuel cells will generate enough electricity to cover the building's base load during night time hours. Fuel cells are non-polluting, producing only hot water and CO2 as by-products.

Photovoltaic panels are located in the spaces between rows of windows on the southern and eastern facades on the top 19 floors of the building. The PV installation is expected to generate 15 kWhour of power.

Indoor Air Quality
Four Times Square will circulate 50% more indoor air than required by New York City code. Outside air enters the building at 80' and 700' feet in order to avoid street exhaust. The air is filtered and monitored, and is delivered at .20 cfm per square foot. An additional .05 cfm can be delivered at the tenant's request. Floor by floor air handling equipment allows individualized control and purge capability. A dedicated exhaust shaft will be provided to vent smoking and equipment rooms. Periodic air monitoring of tenant spaces will be conducted through permanent tubing. Suggested guidelines for finishes and furnishing were distributed to all tenants.

Waste Management
A careful waste management plan for demolition and construction was developed based on detailed estimating from all contractors. Detailed accounting of packaging, waste on site, recycled content and recyclability was required for all contractors. Base building materials were specified with recycled or recyclable materials. Separate waste chutes and adequate space for storage on the loading dock were provided. In addition, the project team, including owner, architect, engineer and construction company, have used electronic document transfer whenever possible.

Materials & Products:
Products from the following companies are used at Four Times Square:

Source: Daniel Kaplan, Fox & Fowle Architects

Douglas Durst, Durst Organization


Architect: Fox & Fowle Architects, New York City
Construction: Tishman Construction Corporation, New York City
Construction & Demolition Recycling: Pamela Lippe, New York City
Energy Advisor:
Rocky Mountain Institute, Snowmass, CO
Natural Resources Defense Council, New York City
Steven Winter Associates, Norwalk, CT
Environmental Consultant:
Ambient Labs, New York City
Dr. Asher Derman, PhD, New York City
Developer: Durst Organization, New York City
Structural/Mechanical Engineering: Cosentini Associates, New York City
Water Conservation: Greene Mechanical Corporation, Bronx, NY

Other Featured Case Studies:
Oberlin College Studies Center
Energy Resource Center - Southern Cal Edison

Back to the Green Design Network
Green Design Network