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Part 1: Office Building Earns Dual-Platinum LEED Certification
July 2012 -
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Gateway West Sustainable I is one of only six buildings in the country to earn two LEED Platinum certifications. The 36,000-square-foot Class A office building in Brookfield, Wis. earned LEED-NC Platinum in early 2011 and LEED-EBOM Platinum in May, 2012.
Environmental Systems, Inc., Hunzinger Construction, Sustainable Building Solutions and Stephen Perry Smith Architects worked in collaboration on the new building, following the LEED protocol, when undertaking the design and construction of the new facility. This process included extensive life-cycle cost evaluation during the design phase. A high-performance building envelope, high-efficiency mechanical system, lighting control system, and a fully-integrated building monitoring and automation system contributed to the building’s high-efficiency energy performance.
From an energy performance standpoint, the facility was designed to be 35 percent more efficient than current building codes require.
Other sustainable features include incorporating salvaged and recycled construction materials, maximizing natural light usage via windows and light tubes, and minimizing water usage via high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and drought-tolerant native landscaping. The building includes an 18 kilowatt PV system that provides 8 percent of the building’s power needs.
At the beginning of the project, the team set criteria that all design decisions resulting in LEED credits, energy efficiency and sustainability had to achieve a simple payback of 10 years or less.
“The fact that we achieved a Platinum rating, while adhering to these criteria proves that efficiency and sustainability can be done in a way that provides bottom-line value to the business,” according to Paul Oswald, president of ESI. “We set out to make this building a working example for other businesses in the areas of practical design, efficient operation, and intelligently applied technology that produce tangible, bottom-line cost benefits for our business and a significantly lower environmental impact.”
To carry through on the promise of its sustainable design, ESI then took the building through the LEED-EBOM certification process.
“Through real-time measurement of key performance metrics and well-defined, sustainable operations and maintenance processes, this building builds on its efficient and intelligent design by continuing to deliver a high level of performance, sustainability and return on investment,” says Oswald.
In 27 months of operation, the building has saved over $75,000, and eliminated more than 500 tons of carbon dioxide. In addition to the double Platinum LEED rating, the building has earned an Energy Star rating of 99, the highest for an office building in Wisconsin.