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The World's Coolest Skyscraper

In the heart of New York City, the Bank of America's towering headquarters will be greener than a hundred dollar bill.

by Laura Wright

From your sun-drenched room, gaze at the Manhattan skyline through floor-to-ceiling windows, adjust the temperature to suit your mood, breathe air that's cleaner than what's outside: Sounds more like a posh New York hotel than an office tower. But such features will make the Bank of America Tower the most environmentally friendly skyscraper ever built when it opens in 2008. The architectural firm Cook+Fox plans to outfit the gleaming, glass-sheathed structure with resource-saving measures from the deepest reaches of the basement to the roof of the tower's 54th floor. The building's eco-friendly features add up to less than $6 million -- not even one percent of the project's $1 billion price tag. Federal energy-efficiency tax credits more than cover the difference, so in the end, the tower will cost less than a traditional skyscraper. And by using 40 percent less water and 40 percent less energy, tenants will reap savings for many years to come.

Click on the red numbers to read more about the building.

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Illustration: John Kocon

OnEarth. Winter 2006
Copyright 2005 by the Natural Resources Defense Council