Sustainable Development on Manhattan’s Western Rail Yard

Western Rail Yard


Western Rail Yard


New York City


Hudson Yards Development Corporation

AKRF estimated the Western Rail Yard project’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and analyzed a tri-generation (power and heat cogeneration, plus cooling) energy supply alternative that could further reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Our work was in response to PlaNYC’s City-wide goal to reduce global warming and in connection with the environmental review of the project.

The Western Rail Yard project is a large-scale, mixed use development proposed for the site of an existing rail yard in Manhattan. The project committed to exceeding the building energy performance required by the New York City Building Code by at least 14 percent and to seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for all new buildings, which would yield at least a 20 percent reduction in water usage compared with a standard building. With these and other sustainability commitments, the project overall was determined to be consistent with PlaNYC.

This was the first private development project under City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) to include an extensive discussion of climate change and to provide a quantitative analysis of GHG emissions from the project. As there is no precedent for this type of analysis under CEQR, AKRF was instrumental in providing expertise and guidance on formulating a sound analysis approach, and assessing the consistency of the project with the goals and initiatives specified in PlaNYC—the City’s visionary plan for a more sustainable future.

Sustainability Overview