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Report Reveals Broken Commitment to Green Building at the World Trade Center

An investigative report by James West finds that the developers of the World Trade Center sacrificed a commitment to green building to retain a key tenant after damages wrought by Superstorm Sandy.
December 11, 2014, 6am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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James West reports that a 26-page document obtained from the Port Authority reveals an unreported snafu in the redevelopment of the World Trade Center: "Superstorm Sandy caused critical damage to the World Trade Center's $10.6 million clean-power sources…a third of which went unrepaired and unreplaced, in part because of a costly flaw in the main tower's design, and pressure to honor a billion-dollar deal with Condé Nast, the global publishing powerhouse and high-profile anchor tenant."

To sum up the details of the World Trade Center's broken commitment to green building: all nine of the site's fuel cells were destroyed by flooding during Sandy, but only the fuel cells in towers Three and Four have been replaced. The fuel cells for WTC 1 were never replaced, and "[the] building opened without them—despite the fact that they were required in the original agreement." West goes on to provide more details about why the fuel cells weren't replaced and the possible long-term implications of the World Trade Center's LEED certification limbo.

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Published on Monday, December 8, 2014 in Mother Jones
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