Fidelity Investments Building
*2009 Green Development Award Winner*
Address: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Company/Developer: Forest City Covington - Mesa del Sol
Design/General Contractor: Dekker Perich Sabatini/Klinger Constructors LLC
Project Specs: Build-to-Suit
Project Type: Office
Square Feet: 217,892
Project History: The driving factors behind Mesa del Sol are an effort to combine job creation and sustainable urban community planning. Providing outstanding quality of products and services is one key building block that attracted Fidelity Investments to Mesa del Sol. Representatives from Fidelity started talking to Mesa del Sol about the project in early November 2007. Verbal notice to proceed was given on December 16, 2007. Mesa del Sol gave Klinger a formal notice to proceed around December 20 and Klinger turned the building over to Fidelity in November 2008, two months ahead of schedule.
Commitment to Sustainability
Sustainability and green living has always been the basic core value for the Mesa del Sol community and of its parent company, Forest City Enterprises. It is a commitment that has grown with the company's adoption of the principals of sustainability into the projects it develops and the properties it manages. The Mesa del Sol Level "A" Master Plan describes the character and organization of development. The plan was submitted to the City of Albuquerque's Environmental Planning Commission and approved by that commission in 2005. The plan states that Mesa del Sol is using the best practices in sustainable urban development that includes planning communities that maximize walking, bicycling and transit use, thus reducing the need to use cars; conserving natural areas and connections between them, in order to maintain viable habitat for native plants and animals; restoring degraded natural areas to ecological health; and designing buildings to minimize energy use.
- Cost savings were a major theme of the project from construction through occupancy.
- The building incorporated the City of Albuquerque's "green path" which helped expedite the city's permitting and inspection processes and resulted in cost savings.
- Safety on a job site can be measured as part of the economic analysis. The contractors used the latest in safety counseling and because it was an extremely clean and well-organized job site, there no major accidents, lost time injuries or safety hazards.
- At full build-out, the company will create more than 1,250 new, clean, high-paying jobs. The employees can purchase homes at Mesa del Sol that they can walk or bike to, improving the lifestyle for the residents and taking cars off the street.
Site Sustainability/Materials Use
- Mesa del Sol encouraged the use of environmentally conscious building materials and techniques wherever possible. Full-cost accounting of building material choices must consider energy used in producing, processing, and transporting material, as well as the raw materials consumed to make the product, its expected lifespan and maintenance needs, and how well it can be recycled or reused.
- Many green design elements were integrated into the construction of the Fidelity Investments campus. Construction materials, including concrete and steel, were selected based on the their post-industrial and post-consumer recycled content, reducing the strain on energy resources. Materials that contained components high in these either recycled or recyclable resources were selected. Many of these materials were manufactured or harvested locally, minimizing expenditures of energy and helping to slow the green house effect by reducing vehicular emissions. There were 12,000 cubic yards of concrete poured on the site and 1,300 tons of steel was used in the building construction.
- The two buildings were designed with a high efficiency-building envelope, incorporating steel frame and EFIS stucco.
- Major building materials and exterior colors were designed to be compatible with the surrounding environment and include three-color EIFS, galvanized-finished metal panel systems, aluminum curtain wall systems and insulated window glazing.
- In addition to the post-industrial and post-consumer recycled content of the building, Klinger Constructors LLC, the general contractor, set up an extensive system to reclaim what was once considered as construction waste. Klinger recycled an impressive 94 percent of all shell construction waste material.
- The building was designed with energy efficiency in mind.
- The mechanical system, originally specified to meet LEED Silver certification, was upgraded to meet the requirements of LEED Gold.
- One major energy saving aspect is the air-cooling system. In the high desert climate, air conditioning is vital and for optimum machine output in some instances up to eight months a year. The building uses a chilled water system with cooling towers for air conditioning. This is in contrast to typical roof top units on many Albuquerque office buildings or the refrigerated unit that uses chlorofluorocarbons. By not using harmful chemicals, occupants are protected from the harmful effects of off gassing.
- The windows were recessed to provide shade from direct summer sun and all have insulated window glazing to keep out heat in the summer and cold in the winter.
- When fully operational, the building is expected to use 28 percent less energy than a typical building of similar size.
- All of the appliances in the cafeterias are Energy Star rated.
- High efficiency fixtures throughout the building result in a 30% savings in water. Motion detectors in all office work areas turn off lights when not needed, resulting in additional energy savings.
- The chilled water system with cooling towers for air conditioning was designed to provide water and energy savings.
- Low flow and duel control toilets were installed in all the restrooms. The building is expected to use 40 percent less water indoors than a conventionally built structure of the same size.
- The irrigation that waters the landscaping is drip irrigation.
- Native plants, many of them grown in Albuquerque, were used for landscaping. This commitment to use native plans was so important, that in 2008, Mesa del Sol signed an agreement with the South Valley Economic Development Center (SVEDC) to use plants grown by local growers rather than importing plants from out of state. With their leadership, the SVEDC assisted local growers in creating the Rio Grande Growers' Association. Mesa del Sol invested $100,000 for administrative expenses and start-up capital for the association.
- The visitor parking lot is made up of pervious concrete, which allows rainwater to seep into the ground. The 40,000-square-foot parking lot is one of the first installations using this product in the state and will become a test case for Mesa del Sol. Retention of stormwater prevents sediments, debris and surface water- borne pollutants from impacting the Rio Grande and downstream neighbors. The parking lot permits three to eight gallons of water per minute to pass through each square foot.
- Fidelity Investments uses outdoor lighting fixtures that are shielded and downward facing to preserve the night sky while considering safety and the benefit of energy and financial savings.
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