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Large Open Office Earns Silver Certification


So far in the relatively short life of the LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) rating system, most users have employed it to certify small spaces, like a single floor of a multitenant facility or a sales showroom.

Atlanta-based design firm, tvsdesign, has bucked that trend, achieving a LEED-CI Silver certification for its 775,000-square-foot Atlanta headquarters space. The design firm renovated its leased space, located in the Promenade Two high-rise in Midtown Atlanta, to be an open office plan, both to maximize daylight and to create open social areas to encourage collaborative activity. The building was originally designed by tvsdesign in the late 1980s and therefore the firm had a good relationship with the owner. The design firm saw the renovation of its own tenant space (as opposed to moving to a new location) as an inherently green strategy.

More than 90 percent of the space has access to unobstructed views outside. The designers took advantage of floor-to-ceiling glazed windows to ensure that almost every employee has access to daylight. They also installed photo sensors in each room and office to dim electric lights when not needed. Task lighting is available at each workspace.

The organization employed several other sustainable strategies to achieve the LEED Silver certification. As it renovated the space, 87 percent — about 340 tons — of demolition and construction waste was diverted from landfills. Additionally, prior to the start of construction, employees collected office supplies, architectural samples and miscellaneous furniture items and donated them to local architectural and design schools for reuse.

The organization purchased renewable energy credits to offset 100 percent of its energy used through the two-year construction process. The space uses 32 percent less water than the baseline specified in LEED-CI. The building’s proximity to public transportation and adding bike racks and shower facilities to the space has encouraged 21 percent of employees to use alternate forms of transportation to get to work. New equipment and appliances are ENERGY STAR rated and the organization has adopted a green cleaning policy.

posted:  4/6/2009