Showcasing Projects Pushing Green Boundaries

By Abigail Sirevaag, USGBC-Missouri
Gateway Chapter Education Committee Co-Chair

Green buildings can take many forms, as demonstrated by the projects featured in the 2018 USGBC Green Building Showcase. The increase in the depth and variety of green building projects seen recently exemplifies how the boundaries of green building can be continually pushed. Instead of solely designing to meet LEED certification, the industry is now moving beyond this one set of guiding principles to consider and incorporate self-sufficient building systems, adaptive reuse, and the health and well-being of building occupants.

An exciting aspect of this year’s Green Building Showcase is the representation of projects in the commercial, multi-tenant residential, and individual residential sectors. The notion of green building is continually expanding beyond typical commercial facilities, such as work spaces and medical facilities, into the most personal aspects of our lives: our living spaces. Through the extension of green practices to our living quarters, we can personally commit to lessening our impact on the natural environment.

The first project featured in the Green Building Showcase is the Cushman & Wakefield Portfolio Service Center in St. Louis, which is a tenant renovation of corporate office space. This space is currently pursuing both LEED for Commercial Interiors and WELL for New Interiors. This space exemplifies a focus on the holistic health and well-being of its occupants through mobility, adjustability, choice and control, access to natural lighting, enhanced glare control, and access to healthy food choices. If certified as a WELL space, the Portfolio Service Center will be the first project to achieve this status in the state of Missouri and will serve as a leader in WELL-based design principles.

The second project featured is the Lafayette Lofts development, which demonstrates the rehabilitation of a historic school building into 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. This project was made possible through Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, where financing options are provided for property owners who want to invest in clean and efficient energy systems including renewable energy sources and water efficiency upgrades. The developer of the Lafayette Lofts property utilized PACE financing to enhance building lighting controls and HVAC units, to provide and insulated white roof surface, and to install a 49.92kW rooftop solar photovoltaic unit.

The third project featured in the Showcase is Peckham Architecture’s LEED Platinum home headquarters, which is the first Passive House in Missouri. This property showcases 1,200 square feet of office space, 2,500 square feet of living space, a garage, and an unheated 3-season porch. A passive house is one that sets an extremely high standard for energy efficiency and occupant comfort through several principles, including the use of insulation to ensure a tight building envelope, the circulation of fresh air to reach a high standard of indoor air quality, and the use of self-reliant energy systems to achieve net zero or net positive conditions. This Passive House maintains net positive status while also being EPA Certified and serving as a Certified Wildlife Habitat.

To hear more about all three of these exemplary green building projects, please join the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter for the Green Building Showcase on May 8th from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, Alberici, 8800 Page Ave, 63114. Learn more and register at www.usgbc-mogateway.org.