Narrow budgets. Global warming. Green energy. All of these common phrases can be tied to one big buzzword: “sustainability”. These concepts have already started to influence day-to-day life for many on a global scale. However, even on a micro-scale it is becoming easier to see how businesses are taking note. Many offices have adopted carpool initiatives, have invested in alternative energy sources and have slimmed down everything from their waste production to annual salaries. It’s a competitive market out there, and only the most adaptable businesses will survive. So now that your company runs efficiently, shouldn’t it be housed inside a structure that makes that lifestyle easier to uphold?
Brooklyn’s newest office space, Dock 72, demonstrates the value of “sustainable construction”. When the build out is complete in 2017, the 675,000-square foot space will stand at 16-stories tall, and will be a place of work for more than 4,000 employees. Dock 72 was designed by S9 Architecture and is being developed in collaboration by Boston Properties, Rudin Development, WeWork and The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC). The sprawling Red Hook space, which is surrounded by water on three sides, is targeted toward the east coast’s burgeoning technology and start-up community. It will undoubtedly be called one of the city’s hottest new shared workspaces thanks to its prime location, premium amenties and free-flowing layout, which is ideal for the needs of expanding and shifting teams. Dock 72 sets the example for what a 21st century office building can and should be, from its tenant controlled air conditioning system to its exclusive on-site “bike valet”.
The structure has been called “socially responsible” by many, thanks to its state-of-the-art design and premium amenities, all of which are available to tenants at a remarkably affordable and competitive price (around $60 per square foot). Dock 72’s towering eight-foot windows maximize access to natural light, and each tenant has the ability to control their own central air conditioning unit. This feature ensures comfort as well as lessens the potential for excess energy use. Dock 72 also boasts advanced wiring and HVAC systems, carefully installed to promote efficiency and sustainability. The “bike valet” not only resonates especially well with the building’s mostly millennial employees, but encourages alternative transportation options to everyone, something that has been a hot topic among working New Yorkers for decades.
But sometimes, the most efficient operations are the ones that can’t be seen. Take Dock 72’s innovative new Di-Boss Building Management System, for example, which was created by Columbia University and Finmeccanica and ultimately allows landlords to monitor and control their buildings’ operations remotely. Vice President of Rudin Development, Michael Rudin, explains that Di-Boss is the first operating system built to preserve the environment. In simple terms, Di-Boss uses algorithms to determine the most accurate “wake up” and “go to sleep” times for buildings. The same system was responsible for controlling energy use for 560 Lexington Avenue during a 2013 heat wave. The result: Di-Boss’s intuitive system effectively used 30 percent less energy than comparable buildings during the same time period.
This sustainable design is a big step in a new direction. The city’s relaxed taxation on this project is another element that makes this project so cutting edge. Landlords have been excused from real estate tax, occupancy tax and sales tax on construction, thus helping support Dock 72’s promise to pay all of its thousands of employees a livable wage. In 2015, the forecast calls for a 61-degree temperature on Christmas Day in Brooklyn. One could say that Dock 72’s developers are taking not so subtle hints like this one, and paving the way for the future of sustainable, shared workspaces.