Hubbell Lighting's new 185,000-square-foot headquarters in Greenville, SC, is as easy on the environment as it is to view from its majestic hilltop location overlooking Interstate 85. The four-story, $41 million building is registered to achieve a Silver rating under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED® program and will be only the second commercial building in upstate South Carolina to be LEED certified.
As a leading manufacturer of energy-efficient lighting, Hubbell Lighting wanted "to practice what they preach," says K.J. Jacobs, lead architect on the project for Spartanburg-based McMillan Smith & Partners. "They wanted to be good stewards of the environment, as consumers and as manufacturers." As a result, the new structure is 30 percent more energy efficient than a typical office building of this size.
Virtually absent throughout the building's interior is the usual "new building smell," since the design team chose paints, carpets, furniture, and adhesives that emit few or no volatile organic compounds. The building also won LEED points for diverting more than half of the construction leftovers and debris from landfills. Excess steel, concrete, wallboard, and other materials were hauled away by a recycling contractor to be reused on other construction projects. Also reused is much of the office furniture transported from Hubbell Lighting's former corporate headquarters in Spartanburg, SC.
All faucets, toilets and urinals in lavatories are low-flow, and stormwater is treated on-site by two underwater filtration units before being discharged to the campus' common stormwater detention pond. The building's two boilers are also highly efficient. One is powered by natural gas, and the other by electricity-affording Hubbell Lighting the ability to determine which boiler will be in use at any particular time based on current utility rates.
Within the Lighting Solutions Center Lab, daylight harvesting illustrates to specifiers, contractors and users alike how they can capture sunlight and realize energy conservation that directly translates to bottom line operating costs.
While the building they work in is helping to conserve the environment, employees enjoy some of that environment by escaping from their office space into all-glass break rooms-with a view. In addition, the interior design and colors of the break rooms are more playful than the rest of the building.
Building with LEED in mind added 2 percent to 3 percent to construction costs, but improvements such as the highly-efficient, mechanical equipment, for example, will pay for themselves in the long run. And, as an owner-occupant of the new headquarters, Hubbell Lighting will be there for a long time to come, realizing operating cost savings throughout the life of the building.