April 11, 2008

Building- Renovation Construction

Cherokee Investment Corporation new LEED certified headquarters.

Renovation of existing structures is an inherently green building process. By reutilizing an existing structure you are taking advantage of the energy already embodied in the creation of the materials already in existence as well as the energy used in it’s construction. LEED –the certification system for green architecture- doesn’t recognize this type of construction to the extent it should. Cherokee’s new office headquarters defies the system, renovating an existing building while at the same time achieving LEED platinum status.
Cherokee is a company that focuses on the remediation of brown fields, as well as their redevelopment. The new office building is a century old furniture store located in downtown Raleigh NC. By utilizing an in-house LEED accredited team, as well as outside architects Cherokee was able to create platinum certified building.

Building features:

Insulated reflective roof to reflect heat gain
Energy Star office equipment
Utilizing daylight
FSC-certified wood
Efficient faucets/waterless urinals
Zero/low VOC items
Easy access to public transportation
Showers and Bike storage facilities
86% of construction waste diverted from landfill
Over 60% recycled materials
¼ reduction in energy use
½ reduction in water consumption

The Benefits

Aside from this just being a really great efficient building, it has other benefits.

2 main ones:

As Cherokee is a company that has dealt with issues of sustainability and the remediation of brown fields it’s workers are familiar with these issues. However by creating an environment where the workers can interact with and see this mentality on an everyday basis has given them a greater connection with the issues. The renovation of this building has coincided with Cherokee’s conversion from cleaning and than selling off the brown fields for development to cleaning up and having a hand in the development themselves as a way of making sure the land is used in a sustainable way.

While in the process of searching for LEED certification for the building, Cherokee’s lead LEED Chris Wedding- was surprised at how LEED doesn’t recognize renovation. Since the platinum certification of their headquarters Wedding is pushing for a change in LEED’s certification process to recognize this sort of building. He is hosting a conference on how to push this shift forward

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