At Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, we are committed to maximizing our efforts to protect the environment, in alignment with New York City's robust sustainability goals. Over the past decade, we have implemented several important changes to operations on our iconic 16.3-acre campus, which is home to 11 resident arts organizations and 30 indoor and outdoor facilities. These innovations have included permanently improving energy, water, and waste efficiency.
As we look to the future, we are committed to continuing our efforts through several initiatives, including the ones outlined below. We are also committed to promoting sustainability through outreach and education within our community of arts organizations and Manhattan's Upper West Side.
What We've Done
Reduced strain on New York City's electrical grid
During times of peak electricity demand—on extremely hot days or during an emergency, for example—Lincoln Center sheds electric load by turning off noncritical equipment and lighting, raising space temperatures, and running back-up generators, all of which helps prevent citywide blackouts and brownouts. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions by limiting the use of high-polluting power plants, which are only fired up during peak demands. The financial incentives we receive through our participation in New York State's Demand Management Program, based on the number of kilowatts saved, are reinvested into our facilities.
Reduced our carbon emissions by more than 100 million pounds over three years by using 100 percent renewable energy
In 2012 we became the first performing arts center in New York City to be powered by wind energy purchased from Green Mountain Energy Company. We continue to purchase 100 percent renewable energy, which powers David Geffen Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Lincoln Ristorante, the David Rubenstein Atrium, the Samuel B. and David Rose Building, several Juilliard facilities, and the Central Mechanical Plant, which provides heating and cooling to campus facilities, including the Metropolitan Opera House, David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center Theater, and others. As a result, we have been named a 100% Green Power User by the Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership.
Added sustainable roofs and green spaces
As a part of the campus redevelopment that finished in 2012, we added a green roof to the Claire Tow Theater; installed energy-saving, reflective (“cool”) rooftops on several campus buildings; built the 7,200-square foot Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Lawn on the roof of Lincoln Ristorante; and added a net total of 88 trees across campus. In addition to helping reduce Manhattan's heat-island effect—which is essential to lowering emissions and energy costs across the city—these efforts also help regulate building temperatures and manage stormwater runoff.
Installed solar panels
The Samuel B. and David Rose Building—the main office space on 65th Street that houses administrative staff from our resident organizations, rehearsal spaces, and student dorms—is partially powered by the sun thanks to a $100,000 grant we received from the Green Mountain Energy™ Sun Club™ Program. One of just four organizations chosen from 200 applicants, we used the grant to install solar panels on the Rose Building's roof, reducing our grid-based electricity consumption and associated costs.
Decreased energy waste by complying with local energy and sustainability laws
In line with New York City's Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, we achieved early compliance with Local Law 84, which requires annual benchmarking of building energy and water consumption; Local Law 85 (the city energy code); and Local Law 87, which requires an energy audit and retro-commissioning once every 10 years. Upgrades to Lincoln Center's Central Mechanical Plant, which have lowered usage, improved output, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, were key to achieving compliance.
Achieved LEED® Gold certification for two of our venues
The David Rubenstein Atrium and the Claire Tow Theater are recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council for sustainable and environmentally sound design, which includes green construction practices and use of regionally sourced and recycled materials. One of the Atrium's most striking features is its "living" plant walls.
Implemented a campus-wide waste management and recycling program
Trash collected on our campus is sorted by our waste management partner into recyclable and nonrecyclable material through a single stream process, inclusive of organics and composting. Through this program, none of the trash that we send out ends up in a landfill.
We commit to achieving the following by 2020:
Reduce electricity consumption by 2.15 million kilowatt-hours
To achieve this, we plan to implement numerous energy conservation measures, which may include lighting retrofits and improving pump motor efficiency.
Reduce our use of chemicals by 3,000 pounds
By streamlining our cooling tower operations, we plan to reduce our use of chemicals such as biocides and corrosive inhibitors. This will also help us lower our power consumption and improve the efficiency of critical operating equipment.
Reduce water use by 2.17 million gallons
Modifications to components of our steam distribution system will help us protect local drinking water, minimize water pollution, reduce the need for costly water treatment facilities, maintain the health of aquatic environments, and save money.
Have a question or comment about Lincoln Center's sustainability initiatives? Email us at [email protected].