Paul Brinkmann, South Florida Business Journal, 1/23/2014
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If you work at the new 600 Brickell office tower in downtown Miami, you don’t have to take a car or walk a block to grab lunch. One of the building’s features is a large golf cart that shuttles people to popular lunch spots.
The idea is part of the building’s green image because it stops people from firing up their gas-guzzlers just to make a short trip. But it’s also a nice amenity.
It’s a benefit offered by the new king of green among Miami’s environmentally friendly office buildings. The first LEED Platinum-certified office tower in Florida is so far living up to its ranking, the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest rating of a building’s sustainability.
Loretta Cockrum, chairwoman and CEO of Foram Group, developer of 600 Brickell, isn’t shy about the benefit to her and her company.
“Our leasing is at a record pace, and we are getting the highest rates in the market,” she said in a recent interview. “I think tenants who are looking for this type of building recognize the Platinum level of quality.”
For example, Cockrum recently signed Northern Trust Bank to relocate to the building. The bank said the LEED Platinum rating was an important factor in the decision.
“The decision was influenced by 600 Brickell’s infrastructure and amenities, including an internationally certified information technology security system, expandable IT capacity and a green environment that benefits the health and well-being our employees,” said John Fumagalli, president of the bank’s Florida operations, in a news release.
‘It just makes sense’
Getting the USGBC’s highest certification was important to Cockrum, but building quality was more important, she said.
“Forget about LEED; it just makes sense,” Cockrum said. “If someone said to you, ‘I can save you 3 million gallons of water a year for X number of dollars,’ would you do it? I said, ‘Why wouldn’t I?’” Cockrum says she is surprised such standards are not required for all buildings.
“We are diverting 3 million gallons of water a year from the city’s systems,” Cockrum said. “If you believe fresh water may be a precious commodity, think about how important that will be. But you can’t renovate a building to have that. It has to be built that way.”
Based on her experience, the most valuable feature for occupants is the quality of air and light in the building. Many studies have shown fewer sick days in LEED-certified buildings, and Cockrum said her company has noticed that impact on the staff.
Edwards & Zuck, the engineering firm on the project, said the building is one of three LEED Platinum-certified high-rise buildings on the Eastern Seaboard, and one of only 13 of its size in the world.
600 Brickell’s green features
• 14 percent lower energy costs than average code compliance.
• 30 percent less water use than an average office building.
• 10,000-gallon tank for rainfall and condensate collection used for landscaping and fountains.
• Energy use is monitored through a building automation system and adjusted to maximize efficiency.
• 18 percent reduction in energy costs from CO2 sensors and dampers, adjusting ventilation to make HVAC systems more efficient.
• 15-foot perimeter of outer office space uses “daylight harvesting” to lower lighting costs by using sunlight on bright days.
• 2.5 million square feet includes 614,000 square feet of office space, retail space, parking and outdoor space.
• Motion-censor lighting turns off lights when no one is present.
• Ultra-low-flush fixtures and waterless urinals.
• Impact windows rated at up to 334 mph.
• Green housekeeping.
• Lunchtime shuttle.