Charleston City Paper is About to Get a Green Facelift

Charleston-City-Paper-Side-View photo

photo: Charleston City Paper

As a resident of South Carolina, I'm the first to admit that my state isn't leading the charge when it comes to the green movement, that's why the Charleston City Paper's upcoming green renovation project is such a big deal. Recently, the newspaper decided it was time to practice what they preach and hired Whitney Powers of Studio A Architecture in Charleston to head up a huge green makeover. Can the paper really call themselves green after these much needed renovations? You be the judge.

Charleston City Paper, an offbeat newspaper in Charleston, S.C., has long been working to spread the word about green living in the Low Country of South Carolina and now the City Paper is effectively putting its money where its mouth is with a new green makeover. The publication leads community green initiatives like organizing and sponsoring the Charleston Green Fair. The fair introduces and creates excitement for green products, services, and technologies available to the residents of the Low Country. The offices are located in a quasi-industrial area of Charleston, poised for redevelopment and hopefully this project will lead the way for other green makeovers of this kind in the city.

The first phase of the project will involve the expansion of the paper's sales staff into an 1,800 square foot space recently vacated by a previous tenant. This will expand the total usable space from 3,000 square feet to 4,500 square feet.

Phase 1 will also include exterior landscaping. Since Morrison Drive is a major artery to the Charleston port, a steady stream of large trucks pass by the building every day, creating noise and dust. Landscaping will help buffer both.

City Paper Efficiency Improvements
• Installation of a high efficiency heating and air conditioning system.

• Replacement of single-paned wood windows with double-pane, low-emissivity glazing, and operable windows. Windows manufactured with Low-E coatings typically cost about 10 to 15 percent more than regular windows, but they reduce energy loss by as much as 30 to 50 percent. These windows are also operable whereas the old windows were not, allowing for fresh air.

• Installation of high efficiency lighting and using occupancy sensors for general lighting.

• Installation of task lighting at individual workstations for individual control.

• Adding dual flush toilets and a new lavatory with low flow faucets.

Sustainable and Toxin-Reducing Enhancements
• Indoor finishes will include no-VOC paints.

• Installation of sustainable cork flooring.

• Repairs to existing plaster and preservation of the existing marble window sills.

• Use of FSC certified wood for trim, doors, and other wood elements.

Outdoor Green Enhancements
As you can see from the picture the outdoor landscape needs help. It's currently stark to put it lightly and depressing in all honesty. Fortunately, the bleak streetscape will soon boast trees to shade windows and a planting area outside the conference room for sound attenuation. Additionally, an atrium, which will extend two floors, will be constructed in the building. A green roof, though specifics are not yet in place, is anticipated to be part of the second phase of work when the editorial offices are updated.

Learn more about green renovation:
Real-Life Green Kitchen Renovation
domino & TreeHugger's Green List: Renovating
Green Home Renovation: From the Archives
Why Hire a Green Renovation Expert?

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