Energy and Architecture Groups Pursue Green Office Buildings
May 10, 2006
A number of energy- and architecture-related organizations are now following their own advice and pursuing new green office buildings. DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), for instance, announced in late April that it plans to build a state-of-the-art office building that will integrate high performance design and building practices and showcase the latest renewable energy and energy efficiency technology advances. NREL's vision is to design and build 210,000 square feet of research support facilities that would house approximately 780 staff, but it plans to start with a smaller building to house up to 160 staff. The building will aim to achieve a Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system. NREL aims to complete the building by early 2008. See the NREL press release.
Meanwhile, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is planning to renovate its headquarters and aims to earn a Gold LEED certification. And what would you expect from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)? Sure enough, the organization is the latest to dedicate a green roof on its Washington, D.C., headquarters. But not all green office builders are green building organizations: the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), the second-largest pension fund in the country, is planning to build a new 14-story headquarters building in West Sacramento and expects it to earn a Silver LEED certification. The agency expects to save $1.7 million annually due to sustainable construction and energy-efficient features. See the ASHRAE press release and Web site; the ASLA press release; and the CalSTRS press release and Web site.