- Office Building
- Tempe, Arizona
- Energy Analysis; LEED Energy Analysis
Okland Construction, Tempe, Ariz.
Weddle Gilmore Architects, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Associated Mechanical Engineers, Tempe, Ariz.
Woodward Engineering, Tempe, Ariz.
Okland Construction, Tempe, Ariz.
The recently completed Okland Construction Office in Tempe has been awarded LEED Platinum Certification. Since the general contractor is also the occupant, the LEED-Platinum building serves both as a calling card to clients and as a teaching tool for employees. The values of the company are physically illustrated in the completed design, through supportive collaborative work environments, ample natural daylighting to enhance health and well-being of the employees, and exposed detailing of industrial materials elegantly revealing the process of construction. The project allowed the firm to hone its already ample self-performing trade skills, from concrete finishing to manufacturing furniture using recycled materials.
Interior surfaces such as board-formed concrete walls and a steel central stair show off natural finishes that also exhibit how they were assembled. Outdoor spaces include a garden and courtyard with native plants and a photovoltaic array installed over the pervious pavement parking area.
The building gives Okland employees a new insight into how sustainable choices affect clients. “It was our own office, and so the decisions that we made would impact us on a daily basis,” says Jordan Hoffart, project manager. “In the end, it has helped me appreciate LEED and sustainability from a different perspective.”
The architecture firm Weddle Gilmore conveys design inspiration from an unlikely source: a defunct drive-in movie theater next door. Similar to the solid rectangular form of a projection screen floating above thin vertical supports, the new two-story office building features large rectangular expanses of glass atop—and between—thin concrete walls. Deep window recesses and programmable louvers control exposure to the Arizona sun but still allow maximum daylight into the interior. Metal panels frame the glazing on the upper level.
The design of the building’s envelope, lighting, and HVAC systems were integrated early in the design process to receive the maximum possible points from the LEED Energy and Atmosphere Credit 1 (EAc1).The building was optimally orientated on the site with the long axis running east-west. Cool roofing is applied to the R-30 roof assembly. The lighting design incorporates occupancy sensors employed throughout the building in all areas other than classrooms. The exterior lighting was designed very efficiently and is 37.5% better than ASHRAE allowed levels. The HVAC system, a 90 ton air-cooled chiller with an EER of 9.6 provides chilled water, and a highly efficient electric boiler provides hot water for heating. The 75 kW PV system designed for this building produces about 115,000 kWh per year.
The energy cost savings from the whole building energy simulation is predicted to be $15,479 annually (43.1%) in utility costs as compared to a minimally compliant ASHRAE 90.1-2004 building. Quest Energy Group was responsible for the energy modeling of this building and was a key team member from the early stages of design development.
Okland Construction sought to create a more identifiable presence for its Tempe, Ariz., office while providing a campus setting in tune with the desert environment. The project elevates the potentially banal offices of a general contractor into an illustration of the craftsmanship inherent within the skilled employees of Okland.