New York, New York

Owner: Natural Resources Defense Council

Location: 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011

Program: A 10,500-square-foot open-plan office with team rooms for group work, a conference room, a lounge, and a kitchen. This office is one of the seven floors the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) owns in a 12-story building in Manhattan's Flatiron District. The NRDC currently uses the top five floors as its headquarters, reserving the other two for possible expansion. More than 20 years ago, Croxton Collaborative Architects designed the first few floors of the NRDC headquarters, and the office became known as an early example of green architecture in the U.S.

Design Concept and Solution: Treating this new expansion (which spans the entire eighth floor) as a prototype for future offices for NRDC's locations across the U.S. and in China, the architects conceived it as a model of sustainable design. Because this floor has exposures on the north, south, and west sides, the Croxton team was able to make the most of natural light. The architects sloped the ceiling up toward the windows and pulled the workstations away from the windows to create a circulation space around the perimeter. This more democratic arrangement—no corner offices that soak up all the light—helps bring daylight into the core, as do low-partition workstations. Doors, walls, and partitions that reach full height (particularly those that line up with windows) are frequently glazed clear or, where more privacy is needed, translucent. On the upper portions of the windows, white aluminum blinds with solid slats are oriented to reflect light into the room; lower down the slats are perforated so that the blinds can be adjusted. A light and bright palette that includes reflective non-VOC paint in white and pale green, FSC-certified maple veneers, and white light fixtures with daylight dimming controls also contribute to the sustainability of this LEED Platinum project.

Croxton Collaborative Architects, PC
475 5th Avenue, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10017
T. (212) 683-1998
F. (212) 683-2799

Completion Date:
January 2010

Gross square footage:
10,500 Sq. Ft.

Construction cost:


Owner: Natural Resources Defense Council

Croxton Collaborative Architects, PC
475 5th Avenue, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10017
T. (212) 683-1998
F. (212) 683-2799

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Randolph Croxton, FAIA, LEED AP – Principal
Jean Hahn, AIA, LEED AP – Project Manager/ Architect
Max Driscoll, LEED AP – Job Captain

Architect of record: Croxton Collaborative Architects, PC

Interior designer:
Croxton Collaborative Architects, PC
Kirsten Childs, ASID, LEED AP – Director of Facilities Planning and Interior Design

Structural Engineer:
ETNA Consulting
450 7th Ave, Room 4003
New York, NY  10123
T: (212) 967-7773

MEP Engineer:
WSP Flack & Kurtz
512 7th Ave, 13th Floor
New York, NY  10018
T: (212) 532-9600

Construction Specifications
22 Tennent Road, PO Box 488
Morganville, NJ 07751
T: (732) 970-0700
F: (732) 970-0790
Aaron Pine, CCS, LEED AP - Principal

General contractor:
ICS Builders, Inc.
17 West 24th St
New York, NY 10010
T: (212) 633-1300
Ted O’Rourke - Vice President
Matt Wickware - Project Manager
Dave Nielsen – Project Superintendent
William DiBenedetto – Assistant Project Manager

Barry Halkin - Halkin Photography LLC
T: (215) 236-3922



Glass: PPG  
Insulated-panel/plastic: Green Fiber
Doors: VT Industries
Roof Coating: GAF 

Interior finishes 
Cabinetwork/custom woodwork: Columbia Forest Products

Paints and stains: Benjamin Moore
Fabric Panels: Knoll
Ceramic Floor Tile: LEA

Cork Floor: Expanko

Sub-Floor: Hoover Plywood

Carpet: Interface Flor

Ceiling Tile: Armstrong

Ceiling Grid: Armstrong

Gypsum Board: USG

Task Chairs: Humanscale  

Lobby Bench and Pantry Bar Counter: 100% salvaged butcher block

Window Blinds:  Levelor

Wall Tile: ICI Vision Tile

Toilet Partitions: Yemm & Hart

Workstations: Knoll Autostrada

Demountable Partitions: DIRTT 

Loose Tables: Nevins
Countertop: IceStone

Backsplash: 3Form
Pantry Table: Olde Good Things

Downlights: Lightolier
Controls: Lutron

Chillers: Thermostatic actuated control valves on steam radiators to manage heat (one-pipe steam system)

Toilets & Urinals: Zurn
Lavatory Faucet: Sloan

Shower: Symmons

Pantry Faucet: Chicago Faucets

Building management system: Johnson Controls

HVAC Unit: United CoolAir

VAV Boxes: Titus

CO2 Sensors: Telaire