Perkins+Will’s new Atlanta office is the current record holder as the highest scoring LEED Platinum project in North America under the 2009 version of LEED for New Construction. This super high performance building minimizes energy use by 58% and potable water use by 78%. Incredibly enough, this is not a new construction. 1315 Peachtree was originally constructed in 1985 and the architecture firm wanted to showcase the transformative power of sustainable design by incorporating building re-use and renovation. 1315 reused, repurposed, recycled or otherwise diverted 80% (630 tons) of material from the building and old furniture and materials were salvaged and donated to local non-profits. Even cooler is that the project spawned the Lifecycle Building Center, which is now a non-profit resource for repurposing salvaged material for future work in the region.
Exterior renovations included energy efficient exterior glazing, alterations to the front facade, a new 5th floor terrace for meetings and social events as well as a garden for employees to get down and dirty in. As for energy efficiency upgrades, the building makes use of natural daylighting, energy efficient lighting, lighting controls, passive sun shading on lower levels and an active, dynamic exterior sunshade on the building terrace level to control afternoon sunlight and heat gain. For climate control, the building uses raised flooring and a radiant heating and cooling system (the first of its kind in Atlanta), microturbines and an absorption chiller. Rainwater is collected in a 10,000 gallon cistern and used for landscape irrigation and low-flow toilets and urinals. Overall the building’s carbon footprint is reduced by 68% and complies with the 2030 Challenge for reduced greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to LEED Platinum, the project is already a recipient of the Urban Land Institute’s Development of Excellence Award.
“We set out to make 1315 Peachtree a living model of sustainability and we have been inspired by the results so far,” said Willard Lariscy, Perkins+Will Principal and Managing Director. “A 95-point LEED Platinum Certification is another confirmation that we’ve accomplished our goals, but since it’s a living lab, we’ll continue to create new goals as we adapt to change and experiment with new ideas.”