Group14 has taken the plunge to LEEDv4. Our first project under the new version was with Davis Partnership for the build-out of their new office space on Blake Street in Denver’s RiNo Art District. Group14 functioned as the LEED and energy consultant and commissioning agent. The project targeted a LEEDv4 for Commercial Interiors Gold rating. Group14 and Davis Partnership will be hosting a presentation and tour of the space for the USGBC Colorado 2017 Rocky Mountain Green Conference slated for April 26, 2017. The Project Manager and Project Architect of Davis in conjunction with the Group14 LEED consultant and Commissioning Agent will lead the event. The presentation will highlight the achievements of the project and lend insight into lessons learned for future v4 projects. Come listen as we describe how an integrated approach to the project helped shape the finished product and how the team as a whole was willing to go above and beyond a typical design process to create a healthy environment and sustainable space.
While Group14 was well versed in the changes to LEED, it was the first version 4 project for the entire design team and an exciting learning experience. Despite the learning curve, the project was a success and is expected to achieve LEED-CI Gold status by the end of April 2017.
The scope of the project involved new mechanical, electrical, lighting, and plumbing systems with minimal envelope updates (save better glazing in clearstory with less solar heat gain and interior acoustic insulation in the roof). The chosen mechanical system is underfloor air distribution. One of the most valuable and progressive components to the office is the many movable partitions and flexible work spaces thanks to the UAFD system. Spaces can be changed as the company grows to fit the needs of the staff. To offset energy, the lighting is entirely LED, and daylighting strategies were implemented to reduce the amount of electric lighting utilized.
The team was dedicated to indoor air quality and occupant well-being. This is represented in the biophilic features incorporated into the project, which will be highlighted on the tour, and through finishes, furniture, and mechanical filters. To highlight the biophilic features of the space, there is a 20 foot plant wall in the center point of the office and dozens of plants in the open office area to reduce CO2 levels, purify the air, and improve productivity. Davis Architecture pursed the WELL Building Standard biophilia credit, earning a point under the Innovation and Design category for the Interior Design & Construction (ID&C) rating system. To enhance indoor air quality, MERV 13 filters were installed on all of the ERVs. Illumination level control and thermal comfort control was achieved through the installation of the underfloor air distribution system and individual task lighting respectively.
Some of the most talked about changes to LEEDv4 are in the materials credit category. Through this project, the team learned new information and developed best practices for future projects. Architects have more responsibility when it comes to specifying materials under LEEDv4. The team recommends that projects consider having several material specific meetings early in design to ensure compliance with the building product disclosure and optimization credits. Blanket statements in specifications for the inclusion of projects that have Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), Heath Product Declarations (HPDs), and other criteria can cause submittal reviews difficulties. As an example, teams should outline what 20 materials and five manufacturers will have EPDs and provide limited products for contractors to choose from. Teams will need to allocate additional time to review submittals until manufacturers learn what is necessary for documentation. Several products were listed as LEEDv4 compliant on cutsheets without providing evidence that they meet credit requirements, thus requiring the team to contact manufacturers for confirmation of material compliance.
Please join us for the tour and presentation at Davis Partnership on April 26th, 2017. The address is 2901 Blake Street and the tour will begin promptly at 2 PM MST. You can register for this event at http://www.usgbc.org/event/rocky-mountain-green-2017
Following Rocky Mountain Green on Saturday April 29th, Group14 Engineering, the Colorado Living Building Challenge Collaborative, and other like-minded individuals will gather at Civic Center Park to participate in the People’s Climate March on Denver. Join us in telling our elected officials on all levels that our environment matters! We will meet in front of Group14’s office, 1325 E. 16th Avenue at 9:30am to walk to Denver Civic Center together. The march will begin at 10 AM.
If you would like to learn more about our Sustainability services and our LEED experience, visit our Sustainability services page: https://www.group14eng.com/services/sustainability/