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Design Thought Leader

Innovations in Sustainability

In the last of this five-part video series, Paula Vaughan, Co-Director Sustainability for Perkins+Will, showcases some of the sustainable features of the new Perkins+Will office in Atlanta. This office, located at 1315 Peachtree Street, recently received LEED Platinum status with a score of 95. It is the current record holder for a LEED Platinum project in North America under the 2009 version of LEED for New Construction. For an exterior view of 1315 Peachtree Street, please view this video

There is a lot of creativity and innovation involved in creating a sustainable space in an existing building. One area where we had to be particularly innovative was in our efforts to repurpose materials from the previous offices. We had no desire to add piles of trash to our city’s landfills when we did our renovation.

For example, there was a lot of nice woodwork and cabinetry in the existing building. Generally what happens in any type of renovation is that these materials are ripped up and thrown out. A great deal of the materials could have been recycled, but we wanted to come up with ways to reuse the materials.

This beautiful table in the conference room at Perkins+Will in Atlanta was made from cherry baseboards ripped out during their renovation of the building at 1315 Peachtree Street

One of the best outcomes from this effort was the establishment of the new Atlanta Life Cycle Building Center. This new organization now helps deconstruct buildings slated for renovation, stores and itemizes the salvaged items and offers them for reuse to other companies. We also wanted to make sure we kept this great story in front of our own employees. For instance, the existing offices had baseboards made of cherry, a strong, attractive wood. We pulled up the cherry baseboards, which Skylar Design was then able to have laminated together to create a beautiful table for our boardroom.

We were able to reuse almost all of the materials in the building in other ways. One exception was the exterior walls of each stair landing. We selectively demolished parts of these to allow natural daylight to come into the stairwells and encourage our employees to walk between the four floors of our offices. In addition to saving them time spent waiting for an elevator, walking saves energy for the building and is healthy for our employees.

For more views of our beautiful boardroom table and our stairwells, please view this video.


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