There are millions of square feet of existing buildings that need to be renovated and upgraded; buildings from the 1980s can be particularly difficult. With their own offices, Architectural firm Perkins + Will has shown that a renovation can actually beat a new building at the LEED game, getting the highest score ever for a LEED platinum building in North America.
Exterior renovations include more energy efficient exterior glazing and alterations to the front facade. An exterior terrace on the fifth floor serves as lunch, meeting and office social space. It also features a garden for employees to get their "green" thumbs dirty.
I found this interesting:
The interior represents the latest in workplace design, encouraging collaboration through office-wide wifi network access, computational nodes, collaborative benching-style workstations and multipurpose team rooms with transparent walls that can be easily reconfigured to incorporate the largest amount of input from all staff.
In fact, it is surprising to see how little architects offices have changed over the years.
The building is equipped with raised flooring and a radiant heating and cooling system, the first of its kind in Atlanta. It utilizes passive sun shading on lower levels and an active, dynamic exterior sunshade on the building terrace level to control afternoon sunlight and heat gain. The building’s design also incorporates views and natural daylight in virtually every occupied space. Lighting control strategies such as daylight harvesting and reduced ambient lighting coupled with the use of LED lamps also reduce the building’s energy needs.
An adsorption chiller on the building’s roof are part of a trigeneration system. By using natural gas to produce electricity, the building’s carbon footprint is reduced by 68% to comply with the 2030 Challenge for reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
This is surprising, finding out that burning natural gas and generating electricity onsite reduces the carbon footprint of a building so much, they must have really dirty electricity in Atlanta.
The Managing Director of Perkins + Will says the building is " living lab, we’ll continue to create new goals as we adapt to change and experiment with new ideas." We will continue to watch it.