New York City, NY

Sustainable NYC: Why Hudsons Yards Is One of the Most Sustainable Neighborhoods

The Nerdy Me

Hudson Yards is a relatively new neighborhood filled with shops, restaurants, a beautiful performance venue and a big public space. No wonder that it managed to quickly become a top destination for visitors and locals.
Jason Pischke / Unsplash

Built on top of a still-operating rail yard, Hudsons Yards is proud to have a few innovative sustainability features that make it one of the most sustainable neighborhoods in the city.

It has a massive stormwater recycling system, a green space that supports pollinators and a showcase low-impact building.

Here's a quick rundown of what makes Hudsons Yards so sustainable.

Smart water-reclamation system

Hudson Yards has installed a smart water-reclamation system that helps to reduce stress on the City’s potable water supply. It is said that rainwater is one of NYC’s greatest underutilized resources, so developers of Hudsons Yards decided to change that.
Ishaan Kansal / Unsplash

The system captures and stores stormwater in a 60,000-gallon tank that is embedded underneath the urban landscaping, as well as in several other stormwater collection reservoirs on roofs of the complex.

Over the course of a year, tanks collect an estimated 10 million gallons of water that can be used to irrigate the 200 trees and 28,000 plants in the public park. Plus, it helps to cool down the whole complex as well minimizing energy use.

Big park space

There is a Hudson Yards public park that adds green space to an area that was once all concrete and iron. The park offers a number of advantages.
Pascal Bernardon / Unsplash

Landscape architecture firm Nelson Byrd Woltz, when designing the park, chose to incorporate flowers that would attract bees and other pollinators. It was a part of a strategy to support declining bee populations here.

According to Related Companies’ spokeswoman Kathleen Corless, the perennial blooms, including wild indigo, several types of coneflower, eastern bee balm and various asters, draw “more than 225 types of bees, flies, wasps, butterflies, moths and beetles, and the ruby-throated hummingbird.”

Sustainable building constructions

Most of the buildings at Hudson Yards have got a Gold rating in the LEED system. It assesses the sustainability of architecture based on categories ranging from “water efficiency” to “material and resources.”
Steve Freihon for Related Oxford

The winner with the highest possible rating - Platinum - is 10 Hudson Yards that is an office building. The structure of the building has such features as a microclimate temperature control system, low-flow fixtures and electric vehicle charging stations.

The architects selected recycled content and regional materials for construction, as well as used low-VOC paints, sealants and flooring.

On-site electricity generator

Hudson Yards has a state-of-the-art cogeneration plant that produced energy on-site. The electricity generator is interconnected with a temperature control system that has some cool features.

For example, it helps Hudson Yards building staff to transfer thermal energy between buildings using a thermal loop. Also tied into the generator is the mechanism for heating and cooling water.
Related Companies

This integration of systems helps to achieve huge energy savings that amount to 24,000 metric tons of CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, greenhouse gases. According to Related, that matches the emissions produced annually by 5,100 cars.

What's cool is that it also provides Hudson Yards with resilience in case of emergency. If the electricity grid goes down in surrounding areas of NYC, the power would still be on for certain Hudson Yards buildings and systems.

Have you been to Hudsons Yards? Let us know in the comments below.

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