One World Trade Center: 5 Things To Know About The New Freedom Tower [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on September 11, 2013 5:13 PM EDT

One World Trade Center
One World Trade Center is scheduled for completion by early 2014. (Photo: Creative Commons)

On September 11, 2001, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four airliners to carry out suicidal attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. The attack resulted to the tragic collapse of the Twin Towers. Twelve years later, the people of New York City still vividly remember the tragedy. At the same time, New York City is ready to move on as well.

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One World Trade Center, unofficially known as the Freedom Tower, is scheduled to be completed by early next year. As we await the grand opening of New York City's latest skyscraper, here are 10 things to know about One World Trade Center:

1. The 105-story One World Trade Center will boast a height of 417 meters. Counting the spire, the total height of new WTC reaches 541 meters, or 1,776 feet, a tribute to 1776, the year of U.S. independence. One World Trade Center will be taller than the Willis Tower of Chicago to become the tallest building in the United States.

2. The first steel columns that form the foundation of One World Trade Center were installed December 2006. Twenty-four jumbo steer columns measure 18 meters long gand weight 64 metric tons each. The columns form the tower's perimeter. In total, One World Trade Center will weigh in excess of 40,000 metric tons of structural steel.

3. One World Trade Center is designed to be the strongest and most resilient structures. A concrete wall measuring one meter thick is located within the steel frame and encases the elevators. All in all, One World Trade Center features 150,000 cubic meters of concrete. "What we're doing with this concrete core is so different," says One WTC for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey program director Lynda Tollner. "It's almost like we're building a nuclear power plant or something. It's not like building a regular office building."

Blast walls at the base of One World Trade Center fortify the building against truck bombs. However, should an attack prompt evac, extra-wide staircases connect interconnect to allow crossover should stairwells become blocked and hinder evacuees. First responders also have dedicated stairwells designed only for climbing up, allowing rescuers to reach trapped survivors without having to navigate around victims racing down.

4. Not only is One World Trade Center aiming to be the world's safest and the nation's tallest, Port Authority expects the Freedom Tower to receive LEED Gold certification as well. The new building will feature rainwater reclamation and distributed power generation with on-site fuel cells. Officials claim the skyscraper will exceed code requirements for efficient energy consumption by 20 percent.

5. The tenant floors of One WTC total 240,000 square meters of office space. The tenant floors begin on the 20th story. Magazine publisher Condé Nast was among the first to sign a contract, a 25-year lease in May for roughly 95,000 square meters of office space on floors 20 to 41. The deal is worth an estimated $2 billion.

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