The Solaire Awarded Two Top Distinctions

July 1, 2004
The United States’ first green residential tower, the Solaire, has received two top industry distinctions: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and a Top Ten Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE). The LEED Green Building Rating System™ emphasizes approaches for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. The AIA’s COTE awards honor extraordinary architectural design solutions that protect and enhance the environment.Developed by the Garden City, NY-based Albanese Organization, the Solaire’s dedication to energy efficiency, air quality, water conservation, and natural resource preservation has established it as a global model for sustainable development and green building processes. Some of the building’s features include:An on-site water treatment system that treats and recycles water, eliminating use of potable water for the building’s flush system and HVAC cooling tower.A storm water catchment system to irrigate the rooftop garden.A highly filtered fresh air supply to each residence, removing particulate matter associated with asthma and other ailments.A building management and monitoring system to control and monitor air quality, energy consumption, and optimum performance of building systems.“The most rewarding aspect of receiving these two distinctions from the build and design industry is the testament it provides to the viability of environmental integrity in urban development,” says Russell C. Albanese, president of the Albanese Organization. “The Solaire symbolizes what can be accomplished with a commitment to utilize readily available technologies and materials to create a healthy living environment for building tenants and the surrounding community. We anticipate a day when environmentally responsible design becomes the standard for all new residential and commercial construction in our nation’s cities and hope that our efforts in developing the Solaire hasten that day.”RICOWI Investigates Hailstorm DamageIn late May 2004, McDonough, GA-based Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues Inc. (RICOWI) launched a field investigation on roof damage from Oklahoma City’s Apr. 21, 2004, hailstorm. This Hail Investigation Program (HIP) is the first industry-wide research program ever conducted to assess field damage from a major hailstorm in the United States.

Focusing on the communities of Yukon, northern Oklahoma City, Nichols Hills, and The Village, areas with a concentration of different varieties of steep- and low-slope roof materials, HIP’s mission is:To investigate the field performance of roofing assemblies after major hailstorm events.To factually describe roof assembly performance and modes of damage.To formally report the results for substantiated hail events.Commercial and residential building owners volunteered their properties for inspection by engineers, roof consultants, roof material manufacturers, roofing industry representatives, and property insurance representatives. Data collected by these investigative teams will be used to improve building codes, roof systems design, and to educate the industry and public.

RICOWI Chairman Joe Wilson says, “We can expect a greater industry understanding of what causes roofs to perform or fail in severe hail events, leading to overall improvements in roof system durability, the reduction of waste generation from re-roofing activities, and a reduction in insurance losses that will lead to lower overall costs for the public.”

For more information on the results of HIP, contact RICOWI through its website ( KKE Architects Designs New Continuing Care Retirement CommunityWorking closely with local and state governments, Minneapolis-based KKE Architects Inc. designed Presbyterian Homes of Wisconsin’s Avalon Square continuing care retirement community (CCRC), a $22.8 million architectural icon that has already been recognized for design excellence by the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

This new senior campus provides a spectrum of living and care environments, consisting of 68 independent apartments, 52 assisted-living units, and a 27-unit specialty care residence. The building also includes retail space, associated service facilities, and Town Center community amenities.

The CCRC, which is located in Waukesha, WI, integrates two existing historic buildings – a 1928, five-story building, and a 1871 hotel on the Historic Registry – and provides access to a bank, chapel, library, museum/art gallery, café/deli, convenience store, restaurant-style dining, private dining, computer networked activity learning center, barber/beauty salon, fitness center, lounges, and a secure landscaped courtyard.Turner Healthcare Survey Anticipates Major ExpansionSurveying 200 senior healthcare executives on capital planning and facilities management issues, New York City-based Turner Construction Co. reports that 69 percent indicated their institution was “very” or “extremely likely” to start a major expansion within the next three years.

“Obsolete facilities, combined with a lack of capacity due to a growing population of baby boomers, have created huge demand for new and enhanced buildings,” explains Robert Levine, vice president of healthcare for Turner. “We believe that this trend, confirmed by the survey respondents, will continue for years to come.”

To find out more, see “Most Important Considerations in Planning a Major Capital Project” to discover which factors executives in the study ranked as most important in a major healthcare capital project.ARTI Announces Final Report on Variable Primary Flow Chilled Water System BenefitsThe Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Tech-nology Institute (ARTI) released a final report on a research project titled “Variable Primary Flow Chilled Water Systems: Potential Benefits and Application Issues.”

To measure energy use and economic benefits of variable primary flow chilled water systems, ARTI conducted an extensive study that compared these systems’ energy use with that of other common system types, including: constant flow/primary-only chilled water systems; constant primary flow/variable secondary flow chilled water systems; and primary/secondary chilled water systems with a check valve installed in the decoupler.

According to the results, primary-only chilled water systems reduced total annual plan energy by three to eight percent, first cost by four to eight percent, and life-cycle cost by three to five percent relative to conventional constant primary flow/variable secondary flow chilled water systems.

To download a copy of the final report, visit ( Publishing’s Green Building Titles Aim to Transform the IndustryFacilities professionals know that consumer demand for buildings that are more energy- and resource-efficient, cheaper to build, and healthier to occupy has driven the design of environmentally friendly facilities. Founded and operated by green building experts, Ecotone Publishing LLC hopes to meet the growing demand for authoritative and accessible books on sustainable design and architecture.
Ecotone Publishing will focus on exploring the relationship between the built and natural environments with a goal of improving the human condition within a healthier and more diverse natural environment; and is the industry’s first publisher to focus solely on green design.
As supporters of the environmental movement, Ecotone will donate a minimum of 10 percent of its profits to environmental and social organizations, and will publish all books on recycled-content paper.

For more information, visit ( or call (816) 363-3304.PPL Corp. Headquarters Complex Renovation
Since its beginning 80 years ago, PPL Corp. has emerged as a company reinventing the way customers and investors think about electricity and natural gas. Headquartered in Allentown, PA, PPL controls approximately 11,500 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets, and delivers electricity to nearly 5 million customers in Pennsylvania, the United Kingdom, and Latin America.

The 75-year-old urban office building that PPL was calling home, however, wasn’t suiting the corporation’s requirements. With the objective of redesigning common areas of the complex into a first-rate facility befitting of a Fortune 500 headquarters, the building’s three lower floors were renovated with help from Fedetz & Martin Associates, Allentown, PA. New features include:
Natural light in public spaces via a bronze curtainwall and entry system.A central reception desk, providing cardreaders that are hidden into the detail of the woodwork to form invisible security.An 18-foot water feature in the lobby that cascades down a wall and into a central waterfall, reinforcing PPL’s continued commitment to hydroelectric power.A high-tech security room out of view, which provides electronic monitoring of the entire complex.Italian marble floors and walls; cherry columns and trim; brass details; and a domed light fixture that provides bright illumination.An auditorium de—signed with the needs of the speaker/pre—senter in mind: Application of hard and soft materials on walls and ceilings was vigilantly balanced.40,000 Tons in Missed Recycling UncoveredIn a report to the Greater Philadelphia Commercial Recycling Council (GPCRC) Board of Directors, Executive Director David Biddle discussed plans for targeting healthcare, higher education, and cultural sectors as part of the council’s enhanced recycling education and assistance program.
According to this report, future plans call for GPCRC to perform research and needs assessments for targeted sectors, then hold Recycling Summits to encourage businesses to set specific recycling goals over the next five to 10 years.

“We’re hoping to see goals of at least 25-percent recycling by 2005 and 50-percent by 2007,” says Biddle. “We’ll start with the healthcare industry in the fall; move on to institutions of higher learning; then to museums, performing arts venues, and other cultural institutions.”

Completing comprehensive waste audits and recycling program designs for more than 30 major businesses and institutions, the Council has identified missed recycling opportunities in excess of 40,000 tons, representing an estimated lost cost savings of $4 million.

The full report, titled Two Year Eval-uation and Directions for 2004-05, is available in the “resources” section of the GPCRC’s website (

Study Reveals Seismic Design Adds Protection Against Terrorist BombingSan Francisco-based Degenkolb Engineers participated in a groundbreaking FEMA-funded study that is a first step toward defining a smart, multi-hazard strategy for implementing seismic strengthening so that it also provides protection against terrorist attacks.

The study analyzed the potential performance of the Alfred P. Murrah Building, involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, if it were seismically rehabilitated.

“This study is critical to protecting our nation’s infrastructure, economy, and people,” says Chris Poland, Degenkolb Engineers’ president and CEO. “Taking a multi-hazard approach not only allows building owners to achieve double the protection at approximately half the cost, but ensures the life-safety of building occupants in the event of multiple threats.”

Degenkolb Engineers, along with the U.S. Army Engineer and Research Development Center, assessed whether a seismic retrofit could increase the blast resistance of a building. Without considering blast, Degenkolb designed retrofit schemes and re-enacted the 1995 bombing. The team concluded that seismic strengthening would have prevented the progressive collapse of the building and limited the collapse of individual floors to only the first level – preventing most of the casualties that occurred.Dedication of New Capitol Hill BuildingThe National Association of Realtors® (NAR) dedicated its daringly new, environmentally advanced building on Capitol Hill in early May. Construction of the striking, glass-wrapped, award-winning structure was completed last month and created dramatic presence at 500 New Jersey Avenue. The building is the first newly constructed building in the District of Columbia to meet green standards – high levels of environmental performance as set by the U.S. Green Building Council – and is located on a former brownfield site. NAR expects to earn a certification from the LEED Green Building Rating System™ for the structure. Environmental features include:A landscape plan using native plant species to reduce irrigation demands and capturing rain water for re-use in irrigation.Efficient HVAC systems and a high-performance glass curtainwall to reduce energy use by as much as 30 percent as compared to code standards.Zero use of CFC-refrigerants.High-recycled building materials.A carbon dioxide monitoring system to introduce fresh air in areas of increased occupancy.The NAR building was recently honored with two awards from the Washington Business Journal for best architecture and best financing. It was also named runner-up for best urban office project and best sustainable growth project.ICC Reports on Results of Building Safety Officials StudyBuilding departments in U.S. cities face daunting challenges – some unique to each city, and others shared by departments across the country. Although some concerns are ongoing, others reflect an evolving geopolitical landscape, economic uncertainty, or recent catastrophic events that make 2004 different than any other year.

The International Code Council (ICC), based in Falls Church, VA, released study results indicating that workload, a shortage of resources, and insufficient budgets are among the biggest concerns of building safety officials across the United States.

Building safety officials in the nation’s 15 largest metropolitan areas were questioned about their top building concerns as part of the International Code Council Foundation’s celebration of Building Safety Week in early April.

In most cities across the country, building departments are responsible for issuing all permits relating to new construction and are often called upon to review building plans before work begins. “The increased demand for services offered by building departments and insufficient budgets can affect the long-term safety of a community,” says ICC CEO James Lee Witt. “If buildings aren’t built to code, or there aren’t ample resources to conduct building inspections, public safety is at risk.”

Respondents cited numerous additional concerns, including the impact of natural disasters on communities, substandard housing, illegal construction, and lack of public knowledge about building and housing safety. Building officials across the nation are taking steps to address their increase in workload. The study reveals that some cities are contracting with private inspectors, conducting training programs for inspectors and the public, and streamlining permitting processes.

Office Space is ShrinkingEight years of research conducted by the Houston-based International Facility Management Association (IFMA) shows that workers in United States offices have been required to adjust to progressively less workspace. Surveys of facility professionals in 1994, 1997, and 2002 show that the average amount of square footage allotted to each worker has decreased continuously.
With a tighter squeeze comes other challenges as well. The research findings, taken from IFMA’s Benchmarks II, Benchmarks III, and Project Management Benchmarks reports, coincide with information reported by facility professionals in IFMA’s periodic Corporate Facility Monitor survey on the most common office complaints.

“For the facility professional, balancing the needs of workers in shrinking space takes some additional creativity and ingenuity,” says IFMA President and CEO David J. Brady. “The shrinking office is not a myth, but a reality, and a clear sign of the economic times.”

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