Newsletter | Jul/Aug 2007

The Greening of

by Suzanne Stewart
The members who came to the June event at got a personalized tour and presentation by OWA member Karen Kho and her colleagues at this innovative organization. They practice what they preach. We were asked not to bring beverage cups as they already had enough and didn't want to add more waste. A small but an important detail. They renovated instead of building anew, chose a location near a Bart Station, dedicated a parking space for a car-share vehicle, and offer secured bicycle parking.

They started out striving for LEED Silver, one step above the basic certification. Initially they wanted to show how green building principles could be applied to an ordinary building with a typical design and construction budget. Early on they realized they had bypassed Silver and were well into the Gold range. From there they made the commitment the spend more money and a lot more effort to go for the top: LEED Platinum! They produced a carbon neutral building that uses a minimal amount of water. The energy savings exceeds 40% compared to a similar conventionally built and run building.

Some of the ways they achieved their goals were by
*preserving 95% of the original structural elements
*recycled 75% of debris from demo and construction
*new concrete with 15-40% flyash (recycled waste product from coal-fired power plants)
*eliminated superfluous building materials
*installed recycling bins at every workstation
*hired a moving company that uses reusable and recyclable
moving containers

Other resources
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