Sometimes I wonder what kind of miracle it took to bring a deal like this to fruition. You have this abandoned, 40-year old warehouse with contamination, structural, and code issues. Nobody wants it. And it’s probably much easier to go somewhere else and just do what everyone else does. You rent space or build a new building. But Jeff Reaves, president of Group MacKenzie, and Jay Haladay, owner of Coaxis, saw major potential in this dilapidated structure now known as RiverEast Center. They decided to buy the property and wanted to convert it to office space for each of their growing company’s headquarters. The result?
Discovery, aka "the number-one nonfiction media company" and recent purchaser of Treehugger, now has legit green digs. LEED-EB stands for LEED Existing Buildings, but the certification standard has recently undergone a renovation to LEED Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance. Up until now, the LEED-EB Platinum certification has been pretty rare, but we’ll see if that changes post-renovation. The Clinton Library got a Platinum and so did the headquarters of both Armstrong and Adobe. So, it looks like Discovery’s 540,000 sf building is in good company. Here’s what they did to get the high distinction:
Recently, Ronald McDonald House Charities made the decision to integrate sustainable design and energy efficiency in all future facilities, whether new, expanded, or remodeled. As you can tell with this RMHC of Austin and Central Texas, which has 30 rooms to accommodate families with ill or injured children being treated in local area hospitals, they mean business when it comes to going green. Here, RMHC is going all the way by seeking that LEED Platinum paper.
I know, I know. I’m treading on thin water with this one, what with all the haters and anti-sprawlsters out there. But strictly to make the point that businesses can use less and save money, I like this story. Next week, Wal-Mart will open the first store of the company’s next generation of green stores in Romeoville, Illinois. Where their first generation of two green stores saved about 20% energy, this store will save about 25% energy. The energy savings result from experimentations in refrigeration and heating/cooling systems in their first generation of green stores.
This is a quality video by Wall Street Journal’s Dana Mattioli featuring Andrew Shapiro, founder and CEO of GreenOrder. GreenOrder is a sustainable marketing and strategy firm that’s been called the "Green McKinsey" on occasion. Shapiro takes Mattioli through 7 World Trade Center, explaining the building’s several green aspects, including the rainwater reclamation system, floor-to-ceiling windows, design for natural lighting, and white roof. You’ll notice also the layout of employees, which is a little more collaborative and fluid. Experts laud these open layouts as a way to do more with less space, and thereby, save materials. I’m still unsure as to whether tighter quarters can be more effective, especially with the extra noise and commotion — I definitely think it depends on the job type. It probably reduces internet usage, though.