Special Approaches to Sustainability
Various Clients and Locations
As optimizing building energy usage has become a priority throughout the built environment, the term 'sustainable project' is often used interchangeably with 'energy efficient' or LEED project. However, sustainability has an application to long term performance, and can be applied to human capital, such as the occupants and community. KBA has had the privilege to participate in projects that emphasize sustainability of long-term performance and human capital. Some examples are as follows:
- Biopharmaceutical Firm, Office Building (Building 35), South San Francisco, CA
Completed in 2015, this is a 256,000 square-foot, 7-story office building. The LEED Gold certified building was designed to create an environmentally friendly, nurturing, work environment - enhancing employee well-being and interactions, and creating a generous sense of both community and place. Corporate design standards emphasized indoor environment quality, as well as optimized energy use and minimization of CFC refrigerants. The building was the first to be tested at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's 'Flexlab', where workers built a 600 square-foot model of the new building that allowed testing of lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and other energy use. Systems commissioned, in addition to traditional MEP systems, included automated natural ventilation of the 7-story atrium, radiant floor heating and cooling, demand controlled kitchen hood and makeup air system, CO2 refrigeration systems and automated interior shading.
- Bullitt Center, Seattle, WA
Completed in 2015, the 50,000 square-foot Bullitt Center was the first commercial building in the world to be certified under the extremely rigorous Living Building Challenge. In order to certify, the building had to meet specific performance criteria, including being built with a 250 year life span, and producing as much energy as it uses, among other initiatives. In order to satisfy these, the Bullitt Center has a number of sustainable building features, such as a rainwater harvesting system, 575 solar panels, a building management system, regenerative elevators, ground source heat pumps and in-floor radiant heating, automated blinds and a heat recovery system. The Bullitt Center is referred to as the 'Greenest office building in the world'.
- Greenfire Group Campus, Seattle, WA
Completed in 2013, this newly constructed commercial building houses 18,000 square-foot of office space and 5,000 square-foot of restaurant/retail space, as well as 18 residential apartments. The project goals were to achieve sensible and social sustainability, a balance between cost and performance, and to explore the idea that our built environment can promote community. The project was designed and built to LEED Platinum requirements, however a certification was not pursued. The commissioned HVAC systems included an innovative energy and weather dashboard which helped tenants know when to change from natural ventilation to mechanical heating and cooling.