To achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification — which verifies that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health — sustainable building practices are credited with points and a project must earn a minimum number of points to be certified. The points are awarded on a 100-point scale and weighted to reflect their potential environmental impacts.
With 95 points, an office building designed by Perkins+Will in Atlanta, Ga., is the highest-scoring LEED-certified new construction project to date under the 2009 version of LEED for New Construction.
The building, originally constructed in 1985, was redesigned and renovated into a high-performance sustainability focused building. Incorporating building re-use and renovation were important ideas in the firms’ concept of sustainability that led them to the LEED Platinum certification.
“Perkins+Will has designed a showpiece building,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). “1315 Peachtree Street exemplifies the kind of environmentally sustainable measures that can be taken during a building retrofit. It has earned its high LEED score and will continue to pay dividends through energy saving measures for decades to come.”
The Perkins+Will building incorporated energy-saving features throughout, including: more energy-efficient exterior glazing and alterations to the front façade; a radiant heating and cooling system; passive sun shading on lower levels and an active, dynamic exterior sunshade on the building terrace level to control afternoon sunlight and heat gain; daylight harvesting and reduced ambient lighting coupled with the use of LED lamps.
A trigeneration system for heating, cooling, and electricity uses microturbines and an absorption chiller on the roof along with natural gas to reduce the building’s carbon footprint by 68%. To save on water, which is an important issue in Atlanta, the building has a 10,000-gallon cistern that catches rainwater for landscape irrigation and low-flow urinals and toilets.
For more information about Perkins+Will and this LEED Platinum building, visit http://www.perkinswill.com.