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Practicing, Not Just Preaching: Enviro Firm Scores LEED Platinum

Thursday, June 9, 2011

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Citadel Environmental Services Inc., an environmental, health, safety, and sustainability consulting firm based in Glendale, Calif., is demonstrating emphatically that it means what it says with regard to the business of sustainability.

In ceremonies Wednesday, the firm was joined by local officials and other VIPs in marking the awarding of the LEED Platinium rating by the U.S Green Building Council for the comprehensive “green” retrofit of a recently purchased building that serves as the firm’s headquarters.

The firm says the remodel of the 8,000-square-foot building—completed with contractor/LEED Consultant Shangri-La Construction and POLLACK architecture—boasts an impressive array of green building features. Highlights include the following.

  • Maximum use of natural light: skylights installed, primary dependence on daylight vs. lights, and every seat in the offices have access to outside view.
  • New energy-efficient double-paned exterior windows and storefronts.
  • New packaged air handling systems (SER-14 units), which are 37% more efficient.
  • New water-efficient interior plumbing and bathroom fixtures reduce usage by 62%.
  • Green Seal certified furniture systems (contain high amount of recycled content).
  • 120 solar panels provide 45,000 khw per year, enough to power the entire building (Citadel and tenant), and net meter an additional 16% back to the city of Glendale.
  • Native, drought-tolerant landscaping with temporary drip irrigation system.
  • New energy-efficient lighting design requires 38.5% less power aesthetic.
  • Focus on a 500-mile radius for sourcing over 20% of its materials.

Citadel even managed to salvage a historic mural of the Three Stooges that existed from the prior building tenant, the licensing arm of that well known comedy team. It now resides as a wall in the kitchen/break room.

The design makes maximum use of natural light with skylights and windows; every seat in the offices have access to outside view.

Also a priority was the specification of low-VOC and zero-VOC paint and coatings as an indoor air quality safeguard. Products used include Dunn-Edwards Corp.’s Walltone Flat Paint W420 and acrylic low-sheen SpartaSheen Eggshell Paint, which meet environmental and performance standards of Green Seal and the Master Painters Institute, as well as the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS).

Waterproofing concrete sealers used for the project were Petrotex and FGS Hardener Plus from L&M Construction Chemicals Inc.

Hot and cool: Solar panels provide 45,000 khw per year, enough to power the entire building, with extra left over for the utility grid. The retrofit also included installationn of a white, solar-reflective “cool roof.”

The Petrotex product is described as a quick-drying, low-odor, water-based emulsion of silane, siloxane and fluoropolymers for concrete pavement and commercial and industrial building floors. FGS Hardener Plus is a proprietary concrete densifier, hardener, sealer and waterproofer for mechanically ground and polished concrete floors. The product is reported to emit no odor and is zero VOC.

Also specified were low-VOC adhesives and sealants for carpet, tile and other applications. Carpet, pad and adhesive materials are reported to meet the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus standard, and all furniture and seating is certified by the Greenguard Environmental Institute, Citadel said.

Look, Moe: Citadel managed to salvage an historic mural of the Three Stooges that existed from the prior building tenant, the licensing arm of the iconic comedy team. The mural resides as a wall in the kitchen/break room.

The building’s new, solar-reflective “cool roof” is Johns Manville’s thermoplastic olefin TPO 60, offering initial solar reflectance of .77, thermal emittance of .87 and a solar reflective index (SRI) of 101.

Solid Business Investment

Citadel says the project is already proving its worth as a good business strategy for several reasons, including the following.

  • Marketability: Citadel plans to use 4,000 square feet of the building for its office and rent the other half. By remodeling green, the company created a uniquely marketable space in the area.
  • Integrity and experience: Citadel wanted to emphasize that it practices what it sells, and expand its knowledge by experiencing the building process for themselves.
  • Budget: The firm wanted to determine whether it could do a sustainable remodel at the “traditional” remodel cost.

Citadel’s management said it is seeing reductions in operating costs, energy use, water use, increased employee satisfaction, reduced carbon footprint, and tremendous positive feedback.

Citadel’s management said it is seeing reductions in operating costs, energy use and water use, as well as increased employee satisfaction.

“Sustainable construction makes good business sense on a number of levels. Our project is proof of that,” Citadel CEO Loren Witkin, LEED AP, said in the company’s announcement on the LEED Platinum certification for the project. “Further, I believe that sustainable facilities are at the heart of good corporate governance and allow stakeholders to identify businesses that truly have a value system as opposed to those that talk a good game.”

Joining Citadel representatives for the presentation were newly appointed Mayor of Glendale Laura Friedman; Discovery Channel Planet Green host Sarah Backhouse; and Jeff Gould, board member of the U.S. Green Building Council's Los Angeles chapter.

“Citadel Environmental Services Inc.'s LEED Platinum certification is a prime example that sustainability is scalable and makes sound economic sense," said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC president. “Shangri-La Construction continues to redefine the green building sector with an emphasis on cost efficiency through true partnership and collaboration that yields the best combination of sustainable features, design aesthetics and operational savings; regardless of the size of the project.”

Citadel Environmental Services also has received the Climate Leader Award from CoolCalifornia.org for its proactive approach to reducing its climate impacts. CoolCalifornia recognizes small business owners in California who have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), incorporated climate-friendly activities, and used the tools at CoolCalifornia.org.
The Project Team

Citadel Environmental Services was founded in 1993, and says it works to integrate a thorough knowledge of the built environment with the fields of industrial hygiene, geology, and environmental sciences.

Shangri-La Construction is a commercial general contractor and offers expertise in sustainable construction and clean-technology innovation, with extensive experience in consulting, designing, constructing and managing the application of green initiatives in accordance with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system. The company has offices in Los Angeles, Duarte and San Jose, Calif., and Las Vegas, Nev.

POLLACK architecture offers architectural design services for the commercial, retail, hospitality, and residential markets, with special emphasis on interior architecture for corporate offices and facilities. The firm has offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles and Delhi, India.


Tagged categories: Green building; LEED; Sustainability; U.S. Green Building Council

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