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Installation Profile: LEEDing the Way

May 13, 2009 3:39 PM, By Dan Daley

The Bank of America Tower in New York pursues LEED certification with keen system design and integration.

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Bank of American Tower in New York City

The numerous dedicated spaces for trading, training, and morning meetings required a slew of energy-efficient presentation equipment to help the building stay green.

Being green on this scale is complex. LEED criteria include calculating the energy consumed by getting a piece of equipment from its place of manufacture to its use destination. Thus, the fact that so many electronics components and products are made in Asia adds to their green cost. Multiply that by an equipment list as large as the one needed to fill the 2.2-million-square-foot BOA Tower, and the LEED tariffs start to mount up. Offsetting them, though, are products that are made in the United States—from manufacturers including Extron, Chief Manufacturing, AMX, and Middle Atlantic Products—all of which had a significant presence on the project with products shipped to the building from inside the United States.

These moves are all part of the environmental mandate for facilities like this one that are pursuing LEED certification. Even if the calculating process for LEED points remains somewhat in flux, the mission is clear: Make green characteristics, such as energy efficiency or heat dissipation, a factor in all AV and IT equipment decisions. One simple way to accomplish that is to source as locally as possible, thus reducing transportation costs and emissions in getting equipment and products to the site. In one instance, the interior design called for an elegant flatpanel stand originally sourced from Europe. When the issue of LEED transportation costs was brought up, the decision was made to buy something similar from a supplier located in the United States instead.

Complying with a green AV mandate also calls for innovation. Understanding that AV systems in large, complex buildings are often left on after use—sometimes overnight—wasting energy, CMS engineers devised their own energy-efficient control-system module. During work hours, it’s programmed to put systems to sleep if it does not detect use within 2 hours. At night, that goes to 30-minute increments. The module has its own internal clock that is also tied to the network clock.

Bank of American Tower in New York City

Complex Spaces

The tower is a warren of dedicated spaces, including hundreds of offices of all sizes, a cafeteria and a café, a 300-seat auditorium, training areas, a television studio, and a conference center. But perhaps most critical is the morning meeting room (MMR).

That innocuous-sounding name belies the room’s importance in matters of international finance, since it is a space where data flows in and out throughout the global stock-trading day, from London to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and then Asia and Europe. Maione believes the meeting room is so busy that “there is probably someone in a morning meeting room every minute of every day.”

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