JPMorgan’s New HQ skyscraper – An advocate for sustainability 

An all-electric skyscraper with net-zero operational emission is reaching the halfway mark of construction in Manhattan. The new headquarters for JPMorgan Chase impresses the profession not with its heights, but with the fact that the project has recycled, reused, or upcycled 97 per cent of materials from the demolition of the old building it’s meant to replace. 

Setting a new sustainability benchmark 

With its 1388 feet in height and 60 stories, the 270 Park Avenue construction will be one of the tallest buildings in Manhattan. The project could reach its peak in late 2023 with final completion most likely in 2025. 270 Park Avenue is a milestone of sustainable construction by almost entirely reusing or upcycling materials of the building it replaces – Propmodo reports.

Besides being stylish and impressive it was more important for the building to meet the needs of the workforce decades into the future. Reflecting the growing need for healthy and sustainable buildings the new HQ will be one of the most sustainable skyscrapers in the world. “In order to strengthen and guide the design and construction process, we have aligned and plan to seek final certification to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (“LEED”) Platinum v4.” – JPMorgan Chase highlights. The company also points out that during demolition, 97% of the materials from their previous building were recycled, reused or upcycled, exceeding the LEED Platinum requirement by over 20%.

With all the possibilities for upcycling and the growing international concerns about climate change, the trend towards sustainable building has increased in recent years. No wonder why the ambitious undertaking of JPMorgan Chase has the real estate world excited. The office building expected to house between 12,000-14,000 people is setting a new sustainability benchmark on a global scale.

State-of-the-art technologies, health and well-being features

The original building on Park Avenue had opened in the late 1950s and since the useful lifespan of a commercial building is around 40 years, the company decided that it would be cost-effective to build a new, state-of-the-art headquarters rather than load the existing structure with one retrofit after another. 

In addition to achieving net zero operational emissions, the new building plans to use several state-of-the-art technologies and systems to boost efficiencies, including:

  • Intelligent building technology that uses sensors, artificial intelligence (“AI”) and machine learning systems to predict, respond and adapt to energy needs.
  • Advanced water storage and reuse systems to reduce water usage by more than 40% as compared to industry standards.
  • Triple pane glazing on the facade and automatic solar shades connected to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (“HVAC”) systems for greater energy efficiency.

The building is expected to contain many occupant health and well-being features, including:

  • Doubling the amount of outside, fresh air and continuously monitoring air quality to improve the overall health and well-being of employees.
  • Bringing nature indoors through biophilic design, including wide use of natural plants and healthier furniture and building materials.
  • Bringing in 30% more daylight and using circadian lighting to minimize the effects of electric light and support a healthier indoor environment, as compared to industry standards.

270 Park Avenue represents a watershed moment for upcycled construction. The use of recycled building materials has been used periodically in commercial construction, but the sheer scale of the 270 Park Avenue project is indicative that the use of recycled building materials is about to become all the more common.




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