Lighting played a major role in the scale office design. Lower wattage bulbs, with minimal fixtures, were used. A large number of windows allow daylight to flow through the building, and, on a bright day, the lighting controls are set up to allow only 50 percent of the lights to be turned on. Motion sensors are also tied to the lighting system so that the lights automatically shut off if a room is empty for more than 20 to 30 minutes.
Quarried material is shown off to full advantage in the office’s concrete floor, which has a ground and polished finish. Low VOC paints and sealants were used throughout the interiors. Energy Star appliances were purchased and tankless water heaters provide hot water as needed to the low-flow faucets in the sinks.
In addition to the changes in the construction process and material selection, green housekeeping plans are being piloted throughout the company. Several sites are testing some of the more environmentally friendly cleaning products, equipment, and practices to determine their efficacy.
With its first green building project under its belt, others may follow in the future. “We’ve pretty much decided that, while we might not do every project using green building certification, we will evaluate every building to see if it makes sense,” White says. “Even if we don’t pursue certification, we’ll still apply as many of the principals as make sense to that project.
“You don’t do it just for certification,” he adds. “You do it because it makes sense, and it’s the right thing to do.”
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