The Javits Center’s first-ever Sustainability Report shows the property has cut its energy consumption, created a wildlife sanctuary and become a haven for birds.
“From the installation of a giant green roof to new energy-efficient lighting, the Javits Center has made great strides in increasing its sustainability, and we are proud to issue our first Sustainability Report that details our progress so far,” said Alan Steel, President and CEO of the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation, which operates the Javits Center.
Since 2014, 26 bird species have been observed on or near the Javits Center’s 6.75-acre green roof, proving its status as a home for area wildlife in New York City.
Six new bird species were identified in 2016, according to the New York City Audubon, which has conducted annual six-month surveys atop the convention center.
The green roof also has demonstrated the capability of reducing storm water runoff. In partnership with New York City’s The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and Drexel University of Philadelphia, climate stations have been installed on the green roof, and data collected so far indicate that the green roof is capable of retaining up to seven million gallons of storm water on an annual basis, which is 81% of the mean event retention.
“The mission of the Javits Center is to spur economic activity, but we have to be more than just an economic engine. We must be a community partner, and this report illustrates our efforts to improve the quality of life for our staff, customers and neighbors,” said Steel.
“No building in New York City has done more for the area’s bird populations than the Javits Center, and the results of our partnership reflect that commitment,” said Kathryn Heintz, Executive Director of New York City Audubon.
“The green roof has proven to be a habitat for a community of birds, bats and insects in an area of New York City that lacks green space. With its large size and unique location, the Javits Center has become a prime example of the important benefit of sustainability.”
The green roof has an enormous effect on energy reduction of the Javits Center and is creating a new model for sustainability and urban infrastructure, according to Joseph C. Cataldo, P.E., Professor of Civil Engineering at Cooper Union.
The green roof, the second largest of its kind in the United States, and other sustainable upgrades were installed as part of a major renovation between 2009 and 2014 that earned the Javits Center LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Led by the New York Convention Center Development Corporation, architectural firm FXFOWLE and Tishman Construction, the renovation included the installation of more than 6,000 translucent, bird-friendly glass panels, which have reduced bird collisions by 90 percent and created a healthier environment for staff, customers and local residents.
More than 100 energy-efficient HVAC units, 425 Variable Air Volume (VAV) boxes and a new Building Management System also have been installed, enabling staff to better manage the building’s temperature and air flow from a single monitoring station.
In order to build on this progress, Javits Center management has since focused on incorporating additional sustainable initiatives into its day-to-day operations, leading to many efforts described in the 2017 Sustainability Report.