Quakers' Green Washington Headquarters
We show a lot of new green buildings, but what about the existing stock of offices and housing? There is a lot more of it than the new stuff and much of it is well built, but how do you make it green? The Quakers Peace lobby in Washington, the FCNL, had a civil war era historic building in a great location, but it was literally falling down.
The FCNL is a strong supporter of environmental measures (read their interesting eco-bulletin.) Gina Baker, one of the architects says "My favorite part of working on the FCNL project was that our client was as dedicated to green design as we are, and we don't find many clients like that."
The Quakers say "This building is a metaphor for our work. FCNL has to rebuild another house—a house of democracy, which is threatened and falling down. We need architects to build that house of democracy back so that it is safe, secure, and strong, but also so that it reflects all the values of America in the way we tried to do this building."
A Vegetated Roof helps control rain runoff and decreases the building's contribution to the city's "heat island" effect - the increase in urban temperatures due to the absorption of heat in non-reflective materials and surfaces of most buildings. The roof is landscaped with low maintenance sedum plants that don't require irrigation. The solid layer provides added insulation to the roof.
The south-facing glass-faced Light Scoop captures natural light on the roof and conveys it downward into three floors of the building's central core through glass block floors in the elevator lobby.
A highly efficient Geothermal Heating-Cooling System uses ten, 350-foot-deep wells drilled on the property. A non-fluorocarbon fluid circulates through a contained system in to the wells and then transfers its constant 55 degree temperature into the building heating and cooling system.
Attractive and all-natural Bamboo Flooring is the most visible use of renewable material found throughout the building. The wood trim comes from certified "sustainable-harvested" beech and maple; and the acoustic ceiling tiles and carpets have high recycled content.
Energy Efficient Windows, made of high insulation, "low emissive" glass allows bright clear light into the building while insulating against heat and cold. Since many of the windows can be opened, staff can enjoy the natural comfort of the temperate spring and fall climate.
Lifetime costs for operations and maintenance will be lower than those for the former building and comparable to current constructions primarily through more efficient heating and cooling, energy efficient lighting, and a better insulation envelope. Durability of materials and design will make FCNL's reconstructed building, adjacent to congressional offices, a witness to environmental values for generations to come.
Other green design elements of the reconstructed building include:
* Exterior lighting designed to reduce light pollution
* Landscaping with low maintenance (indigenous plants do not require a permanent irrigation system)
* Equipped for future roof installation of photovoltaic cells for solar-electric energy
* Interior spaces filled with daylight; outdoor views from 90% of the regularly occupied spaces
* Electric traction elevator uses less energy; has no hydraulic fluid
* Bicycle parking plus shower and changing room
* Low flow toilets and water fixtures
* Materials and finishes have high durability and recycled content, or are made from rapidly renewable resources
* Materials manufactured or harvested largely within 500 miles of the site
* Natural materials with no volatile organic compounds or toxins
* "Green Guard Certified" furniture made of recyclable materials
* Diversion of 50 - 75% of demolition and construction waste to recycling, 5 - 10% of materials salvaged and reused
* Meeting or exceeding national standards for thermal comfort, light levels, and energy use
* Electricity purchased from renewable energy sources
* Use of environmentally friendly cleaning and maintenance material and methods