The Southface Eco Office is a state of the art building designed by Lord, Aeck & Sargent. The Atlanta building has 10,000 square feet of space spread throughout three levels, as well as an upper-level green roof space. The building is the same size as roughly three-quarters of the commercial buildings in the country, yet it's different in a number of ways. Not only is it LEED Platinum certified, the highest level achievable, but The Eco Office was designed to use 53% less energy and 84% less water.
During the first year of use, the building produced 4,800 kW of electricity from the 6.4 kW photovoltaic array on the roof. This production represents ~7% of the building's energy annual energy needs. You can see all real-time electricity use, water use, rainwater collection activity, etc., on the building dashboard.
Some of the green strategies for the project include: site orientation to maximize daylighting; southerly and easterly window louvers to control glare and minimize heat gain; high performance envelope with ICF walls; 1,937 square-foot green roof to minimize building energy demands and reduce stormwater runoff; an efficient fresh-air ventilator with an evaporative cooler, energy recovery ventilator, and liquid desiccant system to remove moisture and capture waste heat; and use of captured rainwater to cool the air-source heat pump condensing units.
Southface expects that the building is probably one of the greenest commercial buildings in the world and hopes to bring industry professionals together to learn from the design and construction strategies incorporated in the structure.