Sunset Office Center is seeking to be the first LEED Platinum rated building in Coral Gables. The building will include retail and restaurant space. Some of its green amenities include a rooftop garden, shower facilities (a must-have for those who bike to work in South Florida!), and 90% of offices will have a daylight view. It was designed by Portuondo Perotti Architects with LEED consultants The Spinnaker Group. Arellano Construction Co. is the general contractor. Carthage Real Estate, LLC is the leasing agent. All 4 have extensive experience with LEED certified projects. They answered questions on the project:
Portuondo Perotti Architects, Architect:
1. What was the most challenging LEED aspect for designing this particular project? (actual design, not documentation)
The greatest challenge was keeping the integrity of a classical design while incorporating the modern day LEED innovations without compromising the quality of either.
2. Were there any green “firsts” for you (i.e., innovative design features used for the first time in this project)?
While I believe that every building is a first, this is the first time that LEED practices were a primary concern. From the beginning the aesthetics of the building and the inclusion of innovative and environmentally friendly solutions were simultaneously designed to come together seamlessly.
3. What is of particular concern when designing restaurant space in a LEED Platinum building?
Restaurants are high use facilities that have lots of room for innovation in areas such as waste management. In our building we are encouraging the incorporation of green practices in the restaurants. This can be done through the use of recycled materials, efficient lighting, grease recycling and controlled water usage.
4. Of all the green features, which do you expect to be the most cost-saving compared to non-LEED construction?
The buildings Variable Air Volume HVAC system allows each individual tenant to control the temperature in their respective offices. The benefit to using this system lies not only in personalized comfort for each tenant but increased energy efficiency for the entire building
Arellano Construction Co., Contractor:
1. What is the single best practical advice you can give regarding LEED certified construction?
Communication between all parties is crucial. The basic understanding of what we are trying to do and accomplish is critical in order to properly manage the process. All trades and staff must be mentally ready to undertake the task and full cooperation is imperative in order to ensure proper record keeping and enforcing the assignment, from required back up documentation to field control and finally to proper submittal of all documentation for certification by a LEED point person that has the oversight of the process.
2. How do you facilitate communication among the team members on the LEED aspects so that you end up with the correct products, installation, timing, verification, and documentation?
The process commences with the negotiated contractual agreement between all parties. This is critical since all vendors /subcontractors must abide by the LEED requirements. It is critical that all negotiations include strict adherence to the LEED requirements. In addition, a pre-construction meeting is established to further clarify requirements. Weekly meetings are held with all trades to insure proper procedures and documentation. The field, management team including the LEED point individual must have a full commitment to establish the routine which will eventually bring about the success of this effort.
3. What happens if for some reason the project does not meet LEED Platinum requirements? How do you plan ahead to handle/mitigate this risk?
Not attaining LEED Certification is not an option. However in response to this question, I offer the following: manage the process by looking ahead starting from the very first day that we have a site meeting. The LEED point person in this case will assess all available points for certification and in many cases offer more opportunities to enhance the LEED certification including other avenues to gain points usually above the original design intent. The opportunity to enhance the point process will not only end up being a good working practice but also assure certification.
Carthage Real Estate, LLC, Leasing Agent:
1. What type of tenant is drawn to a LEED Platinum building? Is main draw prestige, health, cost savings, or general contribution to society through responsible energy use?
1515 Sunset’s LEED Platinum status will offer tenants a chance to be in one of the first LEED Platinum buildings in South Florida. Tenants will obviously be proud of this and will be able to tell and show their clients the uniqueness associated with a LEED Platinum building. The cost savings that tenants see, will mostly come from the energy efficiency. All cooling, lighting, and electrical systems are planned to be extremely efficient. In addition, the location of 1515 Sunset allows tenants close proximity to their residences and the many amenities offered in the area of South Miami/Coral Gables Shorter commutes allow business owners to be more efficient and at the same time they are helping the environment.
2. Will tenant improvements be affected by the LEED rating?
All tenant improvements will have to be made in accordance with the guidelines of LEED Platinum, so we will work hand in hand with tenants to make sure that these standards are met.
Submitted by Peyton White Lumpkin, Esq., LEED AP
The Lumpkin Law Firm P.A.
2655 Le Jeune Road
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Tel: (305) 667-1808
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