Southface dedicates innovative 'green' eco office
At a building dedication ceremony held today to celebrate the completion of the Southface Eco Office, Southface executive director Dennis Creech announced that the Eco Office, a demonstration and training facility, has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It has also qualified for Energy Star and EarthCraft Light Commercial certifications, and meets The 2030 Challenge launched by the non-profit group Architecture 2030.
Many strategies and products combined to achieve the Eco Office’s energy efficiency, among them the 10,100-square-foot building’s:
• Site orientation, glazing allocation, and exterior shading controls that maximize daylighting while controlling unwanted solar heat gain.
o Building site orientation maximizes daylighting from the north and south, with limited view windows on the east and west. The routinely occupied spaces were located to the north and south to maximize access to natural light.
o The electrochromic glazing to shade east-facing windows. This glazing uses a low-voltage electrical current to switch clear glass to opaque while preserving views.
o Shading includes louvers on the building’s south and east sides to control glare, minimize solar heat gain in the summer and maximize it during the winter;
• High-performance thermal envelope, including insulated concrete form walls and low-e insulated glazing with thermally broken frames;
• 6.4-kilowatt photovoltaic canopy, which supplied approximately 7 percent of the building’s annual energy needs over the past 12 months. The PV array was salvaged from a BP gas station that was being de-commissioned;