One World Trade Center in Manhattan, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, was recently awarded LEED gold certification for its sustainable design. Given the building’s height and its completely glazed façade, some experts consider the certification an impressive feat.

The structure, which was completed earlier this year, was built on the site where the WTC North Tower once stood and measures 1,776 feet in height – an intentionally symbolic number representing the year 1776 when the U.S. declared its independence from Britain.

Energy efficient features include the building’s glass curtain wall, which is coated so that glare, ultraviolet and infrared light is reduced while still allowing natural light through, thus offsetting the need for artificial lighting. The tower also has a special energy management system, which monitors and adjusts power consumption and indoor air quality via thousands of sensors placed throughout the skyscraper. Another system captures rainwater, which is stored and then used for cooling and irrigation.

More than 40 percent of the material used to build the One World Trade Center tower was recycled and roughly 87 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfill. Overall it’s a very green story behind a very large, iconic building.

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