San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Raises Bar for Green Government Buildings

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) has relocated to a new energy-efficient headquarters. The 277,511-sq.-ft. building near City Hall, San Francisco, aims to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The $190 million building was designed by KMD Architects and Stevens Architects to use 32 percent less energy and 60 percent less water than a typical office building of similar size. SFPUC estimates it will exceed California’s requirements for energy efficiency in new buildings by 55 percent.

Up to 7 percent of the building’s energy needs are generated onsite by rooftop solar panels and four wind turbines located in a tower on one side. On another side of the building, exterior louvered blinds automatically tilt to block high-intensity sun and admit filtered light into workspaces. An interior water treatment system called the Living Machine treats up to 5,000 gallons of wastewater per day. In addition, a rainwater harvesting system stores up to 250,000 gallons of water per year for exterior irrigation.

Miami’s 1450 Brickell Wins ULI Project of the Year

A downtown Miami class-A office tower, 1450 Brickell, was named Project of the Year by Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Southeast Florida/Caribbean District Council. The distinction recognizes the real estate project that best embodies the mission of the ULI in ensuring responsible use of land to create sustainable, thriving communities around the world.

1450 Brickell was designed by Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates, and features floor-to-ceiling windows and wide-open floor plans ranging from 24,000 sq. ft. to 25,600 sq. ft. The building, which became Miami’s first LEED Gold building in 2010, was developed by Rilea Group, along with the adjacent One Broadway luxury apartment tower at the entrance to Miami’s Brickell Financial District, between Brickell Avenue and South Miami Avenue at the intersection of Southeast 15th Street. The mixed-use complex includes 583,000 sq. ft. of class-A office space, 410,000 sq. ft. of residential space for 371 units and over 35,000 sq. ft. of ground-floor restaurant/retail space.

Midtown Atlanta Tower Launches Off-Site Food Waste Composting Program

Ten 10th Street, a 13-story, 421,557-sq.-ft., LEED-EB (Existing Buildings) Silver tower in midtown Atlanta, has launched a program that sends food scraps from its restaurants to an off-site conversion center for composting.

Under the program, food waste and other organic materials generated by the Big Apple Café and the building’s in-house cafeteria are taken by organic diversion service Closed Loop Organics LLC to a north Georgia facility to make compost. Besides producing nutrient-rich soil for use by farmers and gardeners, the program diverts over 1,600 lbs. of restaurant food waste every two weeks from local landfills.

Skanska, Alston & Bird Create Atlanta Recycling Program to Benefit Nonprofits

Skanska USA and Alston & Bird LLP have partnered to create a recycling program in which salvageable construction materials from Alston & Bird’s One Atlantic Center, Atlanta, renovation project are donated to the Atlanta-based Lifecycle Building Center, which provides building materials to nonprofits at deep discounts.

Three Atlanta nonprofits—Sandy Springs Ronald McDonald House, Renew Atlanta and Nicholas House—are to benefit from the donations, which include desks, shelving, cabinets, sinks, windows, mirrors, lights, signage, drinking fountains, signage, doors, carpet, molding, baseboards, security cameras, fire extinguishers, ceiling tile and toilets.

Michigan Plaza Achieves LEED-EB Gold Certification

Michigan Plaza, located at 205/225 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, earned LEED –EB Gold certification for existing buildings. Developed in 1982, Michigan Plaza is a 1.95 million-sq.-ft., two-building office complex designed by Fujikawa Johnson, the successor to Mies Van Der Rohe. Green features include: water efficiency solutions; 80 percent of construction materials; diversion of 22,176 pounds of furniture and electronic waste from landfills as a result of recycling programs; reduced greenhouse gas emissions; tenant outreach education on sustainable practices; green cleaning policy and Energy Star designation.

New LEED Gold International Finance Bank Opens in Miami

The International Finance Bank Building, a new LEED Gold , 51,664-sq.-ft. office and retail complex, was completed in Miami at 777 SW 37th Avenue and SW Eighth Street. The class-A building, designed by Nichols Brosh Wurst Wolfe and Associates, has office spaces for lease ranging between 2,500 sq. ft. to two contiguous floors totaling 33,000 sq. ft. The remaining available retail space is 2,559 sq. ft. The lead tenant, International Finance Bank, occupies 25,000 sq. ft. in the building.

The downtown building’s class-A eco-friendly amenities include low or no-VOC materials and finishes, use of recycled materials, LEED preferred parking for fuel-efficient vehicles, a cool roof, high-efficiency LED and fluorescent lighting and low-flow plumbing fixtures.

Empire State Building’s Pre-builts Attain LEED Gold

The pre-builts on the 53rd and 75th floors of the Empire State Building have obtained LEED IC+C (Interior Design and Construction) Gold certification. LEED ID+C is an updated version of LEED CI (Commercial Interiors), the benchmark for interior fit-outs, and the recognized system for certifying high-performance green interiors.

The Empire State Building’s pre-builts green features include: high-end sustainable finishes; sub-metered electric; glass-walled offices and conference rooms to perimeter offices and workspaces, allowing an abundance of natural light; Energy Star designer appliances; tenant-controlled HVAC and occupancy/vacancy sensors for lighting. Tenants who have leased the pre-builts include Turkish Airlines, X5 Music Label, law firm Napoli Bern Ripka, Peter Lampack Publishing Agency, Helios Matheson Information Technology and financial services firm Alberleen Group.

US Energy Group, Greenwich Energy Partner to Lower NYC Buildings’ Overall Energy Use

US Energy Group has partnered with Greenwich Energy Solutions (GES) to drive down operating costs for facilities and ensure compliance with new environmental and energy regulations in New York City. The alliance is designed to identify opportunities and provide comprehensive, cost-effective solutions to help real estate organizations manage their overall fuel, energy and water consumption and costs through energy audits, benchmarking, implementation of energy conservation measures and retro-commissioning. By deploying US Energy Group’s Building Energy Management System, proven to reduce fuel consumption by 15 to 30 percent with a payback in under two years—the alliance will work to improve the energy efficiency of New York City’s building stock.

Eco-friendly Luxury, Affordable Community Breaks Ground in N.J.

Walters Homes, a residential real estate developer, broke ground on Laurel Oaks, a new affordable apartment community, in Barnegat, N.J. The mid-rise, income-restricted multifamily project will feature 94 apartments in four buildings and is slated to open in the summer of 2013.

The buildings, which are expected to meet LEED and Energy Star certification requirements, will include one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments stocked with Energy Star appliances. The complex will be pedestrian friendly and located near shopping, dining and public transportation.

Metro Park VI Achieves LEED Platinum

Metro Park VI, a newly delivered 330,589-sq.-ft. trophy office tower in Alexandria, Va. , was awarded LEED Platinum certification. Developed by The Evans Company for New York-based Clarion Partners and designed by KlingStubbins, Metro Park VI is the final building within the 1.2 million-sq.-ft. Metro Park office park, and is 60 percent pre-leased. Booz Allen & Hamilton has signed a 10-year $40 million lease for 88,000 sq. ft.

The lozenge-shaped tower features “pinched” east and west ends to reduce heat gain at those exposures, glass curtain walls and glazing that is silk-screened to reduce solar radiation being transmitted. The envelope’s heating and cooling system will set a new standard for energy-saving design. Each floor is divided into an east and west zones with each zones served by a variable air volume air-handling unit. Each unit receives outdoor air that is preconditioned by energy recovery wheels within the outdoor AHUs. There are two 500-ton cooling towers located on the roof, feeding chilled water to two 500-ton water-cooled chillers.

The building was designed to reduce overall energy consumption by more than 35 percent compared with a similar, conventional building; water use has also been dramatically cut by 50 percent in outdoor landscaping and 30 percent indoors. Low-VOC and non-toxic paints, sealants and carpets were used throughout the structure, and an indoor air quality measurement and verification plan is in place.

RIT’s Global Village Achieves LEED Gold Certification

Global Village, Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) $54 million campus housing and retail mixed-use complex, was certified LEED Gold. Designed by Architectural Resources Cambridge for RIT in Rochester, N.Y., the 190,000-sq.-ft. complex features 20,000 sq. ft. of retail space, 12,000 sq. ft. of academic space and 414 student beds in apartment-style housing. The multiple-building complex is situated around a central plaza designed to promote outdoor activity and foster social interaction year round.

RIT Global Village’s green features include biccyle storage, changing room space, 21 preferred parking spots for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles, a projected 25.1 percent energy cost savings, and a campus restaurant with a vegetated roof and pavers in the courtyard which are not mortared to help infiltrate storm water. Seventy-five percent or 719 tons of on-site construction waste was diverted from landfills; nearly 25 percent of construction materials were recycled and a full 40 percent of materials came from regional sources.

Liberty Receives Energy Star Recertification for Four Buildings in Maryland

Liberty Property Trust received Energy Star recertification at four buildings in its Maryland region—three in Columbia and one in Hunt Valley. The buildings include: 5 North Park, Hunt Valley; 6220 Old Dobbin, Columbia; 6230 Old Dobbin, Columba; and 9755 Patuxent Woods, Columbia.

The buildings feature Liberty’s proprietary Building Wide Area Network, providing the company real time information on the building systems and allowing Liberty to run the systems more efficiently. Other features include light control sensors in stairwells and common areas and upgraded lighting. Energy Star buildings must be recertified each year. Liberty now owns and manages seven Energy Star buildings in Maryland, and across the nation has received Energy Star certification for more than 90 buildings in 15 regions.

Brandywine Realty Trust Earns Six LEED Certifications

Brandywine Realty Trust has earned LEED certifications at the following properties:

LEED Platinum: 2121 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.

LEED Gold: Lake Merritt Tower, Oakland, Calif.; 2970 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pa.

LEED Silver: 3020 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pa.; Peter Jefferson Place VII, Charlottesville, Va.

LEED Certified: The Lift (Brandywine’s automated parking garage), 101 South Juniper Street, Philadelphia, Pa.

LEED CI (Commercial Interior) certifications were also earned for the following Brandywine tenants: DNV Kema/Lake Merritt Tower, Oakland, Calif.; MaGrann Associates, 701 E. Gate Drive, Mt. Laurel, N.J.; SCA/Cira Centre, Philadelphia, Pa.; The Hub/Cira Centre, Philadelphia, Pa.