Making a Green Park Greener

March 3, 2014

You probably know that the LeFrak Center at Lakeside is a great place to skate, relax and enjoy the scenery; but it’s also environmentally sensitive. The Alliance, working with Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, took careful consideration when designing the project, which was built in accordance with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.

Sustainability can be found in the project from its design through its construction. More than 84 percent of the construction waste was recycled, preventing more than 420 tons of waste from entering landfills. The LeFrak Center itself incorporates partially recycled and locally sourced materials, as well as paints, sealants, carpets and wood containing zero or very low levels of toxic chemicals. The LeFrak Center’s two green roofs create a natural insulation for the Center, which reduces the amount of energy required to heat and cool the building. To encourage non-automobile transportation, the Center also features a generous amount of bike racks, and will feature bike rentals this spring.

Wastewater is one of the biggest environmental impacts in the operation of a public facility. The LeFrak Center is outfitted with low-flow fixtures that will save over 205,000 gallons of water each year. A cistern recycles rainwater from the Center’s east building green roof, reusing it to water the plants and grass at Lakeside, which reduces runoff in the already overburdened city sewer system. The project also has added three acres of new green space to the Park, while the creation of the White Levy Esplanade and Baier Music Island has introduced new habitats for aquatic species.