As a company, DPR Construction has a deep-seated commitment to sustainability, its employees, and the communities it serves. A couple of years ago, when the lease for its Phoenix office came up, the firm seized the opportunity to create an ultra-green environment for its 101-person Phoenix office and field staff.
Working with A/E firm SmithGroupJJR, DPR converted a vacant 16,533-sf one-time “adult-themed boutique” in the city’s reemerging Discovery Triangle into a LEED-NC Platinum office, one that is on target to be the first net-zero commercial office building in Arizona.
The Building Team—including sustainability consultant DNV KEMA and consulting structural engineer PK Associates—forged numerous paths to energy reduction. They used an 87-foot zinc-clad solar chimney to create a convection current that draws air into the building through four evaporative cooling “shower towers” equipped with internal misters and showerheads. The pre-cooled air then flows through the open office space, and hot air exhausts back through the chimney.
DPR CONSTRUCTION, PHOENIX REGIONAL OFFICE
Submitting firm: SmithGroupJJR (architect/MEP engineer), in conjunction with DPR Construction (owner/developer/GC)
Structural engineer: PK Associates Consulting Structural Engineers
Sustainability consultant: DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability
Size: 16,533 sf
Construction cost: $3,762,000
Construction time: February 2011 to October 2011
Delivery method: Design-build
Twelve eight-foot-diameter fans, three oversized roll-up doors, and 87 operable windows installed along the east and north façades further support the building’s passive cooling system. Eighty-two solar optical tubes bring additional daylight into the workspace, helping to cut artificial lighting by 70%.
LEDs provide exterior site lighting, but the team decided against using LEDs on the interior because they did not meet the project goal of a maximum 10-year return on investment. A phantom-load reduction “vampire” switch cuts off 90% of plug loads at night.
The tally: Net energy use intensity was cut to 28.85 kBtu/sf/year; lighting power density was reduced to 0.96 watts/sf. Net-zero energy was achieved through the installation of a 79.6 kW PV-covered canopy over half the parking lot.
To further its commitment to the community, DPR has opened its building to host meetings for local business groups, students, and nonprofit organizations. +