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Taking the LEED: PREMIER Projects Model a More Sustainable Future

PREMIER is celebrating Earth Day by announcing a significant achievement in its sustainability efforts: the Irvine Commerce Center was...

PREMIER is celebrating Earth Day by announcing a significant achievement in its sustainability efforts: the Irvine Commerce Center was awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.  The 136,612-square-foot Irvine Commerce Center in California earned the certification due to a number of sustainable characteristics, including indoor and outdoor water use efficiency, and optimized energy performance. PREMIER’s commitment to responsible demolition and waste management during the construction process was well over 95% and earned Exemplary Performance which heavily contributed to LEED Gold. Achieving LEED certification involves meeting prerequisites and earning credits across various categories such as carbon, energy, water, waste, transportation, materials, health, and indoor environmental quality. The PREMIER team assisted heavily with the process to ensure the Irvine Commerce Center exceeded expectations and was a model of sustainability. PREMIER matched the project’s high standard for sustainability with the region’s high standard for aesthetics. The Irvine Commerce Center is located in the heart of Irvine’s Business Complex, a highly walkable neighborhood filled with local boutiques, fine-dining restaurants, office buildings and luxury residential real estate. As a result, the one-of-a-kind industrial building needed to blend into its community–in addition to prioritizing sustainability. The building includes  modern finishes like an impressive exterior curtainwall system with decorative and structural integral wide flange I-beams, exterior and interior tile accent walls, and full-height interior glass walls to push natural light deep into the space.  The Irvine Commerce Center is one of many sustainable projects in PREMIER’s portfolio. PREMIER’s decades of experience in sustainable building has led to many projects with LEED and Green Globe certification–and more in the pipeline. Here are a few examples of environmentally friendly elements in PREMIER’s design and construction history.  EV Charging Stations to Meet Growing Demand Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations provide a major value-added feature for occupants. In fact, EV sales in the United States are expected to account for 40% of all total passenger car sales by 2030, according to S&P Global Mobility. Buildings that supply access to charging stations will be increasingly in demand.  To fill this growing need, a vast majority of PREMIER’s active projects across the county prioritize EV integration, many of which are also pursuing Green Globes and LEED certification. Recent EV retrofits at the DLN3 and DXH5 distribution facilities in Chicago power entire delivery fleets for the global leader in e-commerce retail.  The installations included 250 Level 2 and two Level 3 charging stations. Level 2 chargers are common in residential and commercial applications, with the ability to charge battery electric vehicles in four to 10 hours and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in one to two hours. Level 3 chargers can fully charge standard electric vehicles in less than 20 minutes.  PREMIER projects that include EV chargers, or the ability to install EV chargers in the future, provide power to hundreds of electric vehicles, helping to push the movement toward sustainable infrastructure forward.  Solar Systems to Reduce the Carbon Footprint Some projects take sustainability to the next level by incorporating energy generation to harness renewable power for technology like EV charging stations and equipment. Alpha Tekniko, a manufacturer of high-tech mattresses, cushions and pads for the healthcare industry, requested a 200 kW solar system on the headquarters facility in the Chicago suburbs.   Alpha Tekniko is a forward-thinking owner who designed its 88,000-square-foot headquarters to include mechanical and electrical systems that can help insulate the company from escalating power and natural gas costs. The solar system, which consists of over 400 solar panels on the roof, is actively offsetting the energy consumption of the building, powering the facility’s office space and a section of the warehouse, with plans for a future expansion to power elements like its EV charging stations.  This initiative satisfies the company’s current power demand and includes sufficient room for growth. It harnesses renewable energy, reducing reliance on traditional power sources and minimizing the company’s carbon footprint. Additional sustainable elements on the facility include high-efficiency rooftop HVAC units, high R-value precast concrete panels that increase insulating effectiveness, special emissions towers for air purification, motion-sensitive lighting, and VOC-free paints.  The insights gained from Alpha Tekniko influenced other projects immediately, prompting clients such as Heathrow Scientific to adopt comparable high-efficiency rooftops in their constructions. Stewart the Land Through Preservation Alpha Tekniko’s focus on sustainability started long before construction began, keeping environmental preservation top of mind during site development. Typically, building sites are stripped of trees prior to construction. PREMIER’s goal was to find the optimal balance between efficiency and land conservation during the design-build process to save as many existing trees on the property as possible. In the Midwest, PREMIER is taking an alternative approach to land preservation on an expansive multi-building campus project on 232 acres for an industrial real estate developer in Glenview, Ill. PREMIER is working with the largest arborist in the country to transplant 100 mature trees on the property that typically would be demolished. Once the trees are replanted, trails will be built through the greenspace so community members can enjoy nature on the property.  PREMIER is working with the village to ensure the project meets and exceeds all rules and regulations, including the Village of Glenview’s Tree Standards Manual that works to protect landmark trees and contribute to the area’s overall sustainability.  PREMIER works with clients from concept to keys to ensure every project meets their needs. With many sustainable initiatives in the company’s building history, PREMIER presents solutions and techniques that lead to progressive and sustainable construction projects. Its team of experts help clients navigate federal, state and local regulations that can be complicated and difficult to interpret, ensuring a smooth building process and maintaining high-quality relationships with their communities. As the world looks to a more energy-efficient future, innovative contractors like PREMIER can play a major part in creating the sustainable buildings of the future.

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