Katrina may have been one of the most devastating natural disasters to hit America, but she definitely didn't douse the spirit of sustainable design. Masters of reconstructing buildings destroyed during the 2005 hurricane, unabridged Architecture recently finished giving a dilapidated 1891 Mississippi building a colorful upgrade. The firm's new base in Bay Saint Louis nicknamed "After the Storm" was built out of salvaged, locally-sourced and recycled materials. This project features all kinds of sustainable features, and despite various challenges, including an awkward site and a limited budget, this awesome project is well on its way to receiving LEED Silver certification.
Previously used as a gas station and lawnmower repair shop, amongst other things, the brownfield site required quite a lot of intervention. After pumping out the underground storage tank and replacing unhealthy soil, the designers planted seeds that are high in phytoremediation, such as sunflowers, duckweed, Indian mustard, fescue, and pink clover in order to clear out the rest of the contaminants. Once this was achieved, several other light touches amped-up the building’s LEED candidacy.
After salvaging old-growth siding and framing from the original building, all of the new timber was responsibly-sourced from within 200 miles of the site. The new offices are framed in southern yellow pine, while the rainscreen and tower are clad in beautiful cypress. Mississippi was the first state to reserve parking for low-emitting vehicles, and unabridged Architects also set aside storage space for bicycles as part of their plan to reduce carbon emissions and make the surrounding city a little more pedestrian-friendly. The building itself uses very little energy thanks to large shaded windows that permit natural light to come in without the attendant solar gain. Renowned for giving neighborhoods ravaged by Katrina good green upgrades, unabridged Architects have done well to apply the same sustainable excellence to their own building!