Tuesday, March 23, 2010


The 17 Seventeen and Park 17 project, designed by Good Fulton & Farrell Architects, is a development of a 13-story office tower and 19-story residential tower sited together on a single six-level parking garage podium with new retail construction wrapping three sides of the block. Equidistant from the Victory development and the Arts District, and sited at the crossroads of uptown and downtown, this project is arguably at the epicenter of the new Dallas urban landscape. The 17Seventeen office tower was Pre-Certified Gold by USGBC in January 2009 under the LEED CS rating system, and the Park 17 residential tower is pursuing LEED NC certification.

17Seventeen McKinney, a 379,000 square foot Class AA office building under construction in Uptown, has secured the title of the first gold LEED-precertified high-rise office building in the Dallas area. The U.S. Green Building Council has completed Pre-Certification of the building, which is slated for completion in the spring of 2010. Granite Properties, the developer of the office tower, launched an initiative three years ago to make new developments environmentally friendly. In addition, Granite said it decided to convert existing buildings it owns to environmentally conscious properties.

The block of 17Seventeen is a modernist version of an Italian hill town, raised above the surrounding area on the 6-story plinth, with both residential and office occupants taking advantage of the 7th level amenity deck and it’s immediate views of the Dallas skyline. Contained within the block itself will be 292 apartments, 379,000 square feet of office space, a bank, a restaurant and an additional 6,000 square feet of retail space. Within 1/2 mile of the American Airlines Center, Victory Plaza, the W Hotel, the House of Blues, the Ritz Carlton, the Crescent Hotel and shops, the Winspear Opera House, the Wyly Theater Center, Annette Strauss Artist Square, the Meyerson Symphony Center, the Nasher Sculpture Garden, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Crow Collection of Asian Art, the proposed Museum of Nature & Science, the Arts Magnet High School, First Baptist Dallas, First United Methodist Church of Dallas and Guadalupe Cathedral, occupants of the project are easily within a 10 minute walk of any of these venues. Consequently, the Community Connectivity and Development Density of this project is a top sustainable feature.

As a part of the commitment of Granite Properties to maintaining leadership in corporate sustainable office construction, the building has been reviewed to insure that in-coming tenants will be able to meet the increased requirements of the newly released LEED version 3 for Commercial Interiors. LEED-CI version 3 sets a higher baseline standard for water efficiency as a prerequisite to achieving certification than was used in the previous LEED Rating Systems. In order for the future tenants to achieve the 20% water efficiency prerequisite, the team has increased the water efficiency of the core building, even though it had previously exceeded the LEED-CS version 2.0 standard by 30%. These adjustments will enable tenants to pursue LEED Certification for their commercial interiors under LEED version 3 and will aid Granite Properties in pursuing LEED-EBOM for the building when the project becomes eligible.

A brief overview of the achieved LEED Core & Shell credits utilized in the building pre-certification is listed in the following table:

Sustainable Sites 12
Water Efficiency 3
Energy and Atmosphere 4
Indoor Environmental Quality 9
Innovation in Design 5
Total (LEED-CS v2.0) 37

North Texas Green Building Council


As the first of several Trinity River Corridor projects scheduled for completion, the Trinity River Audubon Center is a true testament to designing within the context of the natural environment and to private/public partnerships. The project Owner is the City of Dallas and the facility operator is the Texas Audubon Society. The award winning 20,000 square foot facility is a nature center promoting the coexistence between people and the land. Located a few miles south of downtown Dallas among 120 acres along the Trinity River within the Great Trinity Forest, the facility is a gateway to the local environmental ecosystem. Aligning with nature as the central theme of the facility, the primary emphasis of the center is education and recreation, related to the history of the site along the Trinity River. The program includes exhibits, educational classrooms, research laboratories, as well as teaching nature in nature. The site reclaims existing landfills, transforming them into native tall grass prairies. Surrounding the center, a series of forest, wet prairie, emergent water, open water, and island environmental communities support a variety of wildlife habitat. The Audubon Center was completed in October 2008 and is currently seeking Gold level LEED certification. The project was recently recognized in 2008 with a Greater Dallas Planning Council’s Built Environment Design Award.

The concept for the building design embraces the three major environmental biomes of the north Texas region- the restored black-land prairies, cross-timbers forest, and river bottom marshy wetlands. The site context served as the inspiration for the building concept as the design reveals the surrounding natural habitat.

The site, initially the City of Dallas Deepwood landfill located within the Trinity Corridor, was selected as the site for the center. The site originally contained more than 1.5 million tons of construction debris, 30 feet deep and rising 30 feet high.

Brownfield Redevelopment - The closed landfill in southeastern Dallas is a visionary restoration project that reclaimed 120 acres of the Great Trinity River Corridor. Once an illegal construction waste landfill site, it now fulfills the goal of returning this land to nature for the use of future generations. The Trinity River Audubon Center sits west of the capped rolling hills replanted with tall prairie grass and hardwood trees that were once dominant on the Texas Blackland Prairie.
Stormwater Control - The Trinity River Audubon Center is designed to reduce erosion. At the base of the hills, a series of cascading wetland marshes and ponds captures and polishes runoff from adjoining neighborhoods and prairies before returning the cleansed water to the river.
Water Efficient Landscaping - Many native North Texas trees and prairie grasses have been planted throughout the site. Native plants are usually very hardy and need little supplemental watering.
Heat Island Effect - The “heat island effect,” re-radiation of heat from asphalt and concrete, causes many cities to be warmer than surrounding rural areas. This effect is reduced at the Audubon Center by using light colored paving, permeable materials for pavement and shading existing paving. A green or vegetated roof on the administration wing minimizes heat absorption.
Water Use Reduction - In the US alone, more than four billion gallons of water get flushed down the toilet every day. Low flow toilets, lavatories and shower heads have been installed throughout the facility to reduce water consumption by at least 20%.
Recycled Content Materials - Many materials made from recycled content are used throughout the Audubon Center. For example, the rubber floors contains 84% recycled content, most of which came from recycled tires.
Regional Materials - The Trinity Audubon Center utilized many local building materials. One example is concrete. All the gravel and sand is extracted from local quarries. In addition to this fly ash was used as a partial substitute for cement. Fly ash is a by-product from coal plants that would normally go into a landfill but in this case it was used to make concrete.
FSC Certified - The Trinity River Audubon Center is encouraging responsible forest management by using FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified Cypress siding.
Low-Emitting Materials - VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) can be hazaraous to one’s health over long periods of time. The Trinity Audubon Center uses adhesives, paints, carpets and woods that are low-emitting.
Daylighting and Views - Recent studies show that daylighting promotes better health and physical development. Using natural day light also reduces the need for artificial daylight during the day. The Audubon Center is designed to have maximum daylight and views to the exterior without gaining internal heat from the bright Texas sun.
Rapidly Renewable - Trees take many years to grow but there are many materials that grow much faster and can be harvested in ten years or less. Materials such as bamboo, wool, cotton, straw, wheat and cork are considered “rapidly renewable.” The Audubon Center has beautiful bamboo flooring throughout the facility.
Rainwater Harvesting - Irrigation provided from municipally provided potable water can create a large demand on the city and the environment. At the Trinity River Audubon Center, rainwater is captured from the roof, stored underground, and then used to water plants near the building.

North Texas Green Building Council

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Downtown homeless center wins LEED Silver certification

The Bridge Homeless Assistance Center in downtown Dallas has become just the second shelter in the country to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The center is one of only five U.S. homeless shelters that are considered green.

The shelter was designed by San Antonio-based Overland Partners Architects and Dallas-based CamargoCopeland Architects.

The building, in the central business district, was completed in May 2008. The building is designed to maximize daylight and reduce the use of artificial light.

It also includes a graywater recycling system that saves 1.5 million gallons of water each year. The graywater system is designed to capture large volumes of water from showers and laundry facilities for reuse in urinals and toilets.

Dallas Business Journal