By utilizing an existing brownfield site and warehouse, and applying the design and construction team’s sustainable experience, this project demonstrates sustainable principles in the design and construction of the building, and supports sustainable operations for years to come.
The former Miller Products building stood vacant for several years. The innovative repurposing of this structure, using brownfield tax credits, adds significant momentum to the continued renaissance of the surrounding neighborhood and community.
The significant energy commitment typically required for the production of masonry, concrete and steel construction materials was reduced by reusing much of the existing building. Rockford’s decision to salvage, rather than build from new, reduced carbon emissions and lessened environmental impacts attributed to climate change. Structural walls, existing concrete floors and a large percentage of the structural steel were reused. The current layout of interior spaces and windows follows the previously existing structural lines.
By moving its offices to a downtown location, users find many convenient services within walking and biking distance. Public transportation is also readily available. In order to encourage the use of alternate forms of transportation and support employees in their health and wellness efforts, Rockford’s office includes bikes, showers, and lockers. For those who drive to work, Rockford provides preferred parking for vanpools, low-emitting / fuel-efficient vehicles, and electric cars.
Optimized Energy Performance
The building design was analyzed using three-dimensional energy modeling software to determine the amount of annual energy use. This design approach identifies which building components consume the most energy for design optimization. Compared to a baseline consumption level that meets building codes, Rockford will save nearly 371,742 kWhs per year of electricity and 16,436 therms per year of natural gas, totaling more than $46,000 of annual savings (at current energy rates). The building systems have been designed to achieve a projected 45.11% energy cost savings compared to baseline; these energy savings are nearly double that of a typical LEED office building and align with advanced energy standard metrics including the net zero energy building movement, EPA’s Energy Star Program, and the 2030 Challenge.
Measurement and Verification
A measurement and verification process will be used at Rockford to ensure that the efficiency goals targeted during the design are realized when the building is operating. By collecting utility data, the energy model will be calibrated and actual performance will be compared to design goals. System adjustments will be made as needed.
Occupancy sensors have been installed to control use when rooms are not in use. Daylight harvesting, another feature of Rockford’s lighting automation system, senses the amount of natural light entering the open office areas and alters the brightness of overhead lights accordingly. On the building exterior, parking lot lighting also features energy-efficient LEDs.
The project was awarded LEED Platinum certification in April 2011.
View project on GBIG