Arlington Office: In Pursuit of LEED Platinum
When we moved our architecture office from Alexandria to Arlington, Virginia, the goal was to make it as sustainable and environmentally conscious as possible. One year later, those efforts paid off when the building was awarded LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The office is the seventh LEED Platinum project in Virginia, and the 24th in the D.C. metro area.
The pursuit of platinum began two years earlier with some behind-the-scenes work that included getting support from leadership and assembling the right team. That was followed by a number of additional sustainable strategies to satisfy the desire to leave the smallest footprint possible:
- Plans Called for the Site to be Located Near Public Transportation
- The Team Renegotiated the Lease with the Landlord to get more Accountability in Managing Energy Usage
- Aggressive Recycling and Energy Management Efforts were Established
- Energy and Water Reduction Measures were Implemented included Daylight Harvesting, LED Lighting, Low-flow Fixtures and Electrical Sub-Metering to Track Energy Use.
- Enhanced Commissioning was Conducted to Ensure that all Systems are Performing According to Specifications.
“Sustainable design goes much deeper than environmental impacts. After a year in this office you can see the changes in how people work together. Many are bringing some of these sustainable practices home, too, and incorporating them into their daily lives. It’s very much a culture change, and that helps with recruiting, employee retention and in our business practices.”
Steve Manlove, Managing Principal
The office design features collaborative spaces, private conference areas, an open staircase, kitchen and even a foosball table.
More importantly, by using interconnected space, the office culture has been transformed, Steve said.
So much so that the Arlington team is working on a case study called Evolution of a Workplace Culture through Sustainable Design using its own office as an example. The study will explain the benefits from a business development standpoint, evolution of culture, long-term benefits for staff and clients and the commitment to the environment.