Austin, TX, September 27, 2007 --(PR.com
)-- Architecture and interior design firm GS&C is taking the lead in forward-thinking, environmentally conscious building practices.
The foremost example of GS&C’s commitment to environmentally sensitive building practices is the Lone Star corporate campus being built in Austin for high-tech company Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Austin, Texas-based GS&C is the architect of the 865,000-square-foot campus – including four office buildings – is scheduled to open in early 2008 on a 59-acre site in the Oak Hill area. The Lone Star campus will let AMD consolidate its offices in the Austin area.
Tom Cornelius, principal-in-charge at GS&C, says: “The project has taken on environmental issues at a scale that is well beyond any of our previous projects. The support that AMD has given us to add environmental and sustainable-design expertise to the team is unprecedented.”
The project’s architecture, design and engineering team is pursuing LEED® Gold certification for the new AMD campus. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™, operated by the U.S. Green Building Council, is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED Gold is the second-highest level available in the point-based LEED rating system.
“We have made an effort to stay true to the ideal that good design does not cost more,” Cornelius says. “However, the reality is that this project will cost about 5 percent more to design and build based on our decisions for building location, building systems and the measures required to document the LEED Gold certification.”
The price tag for the project exceeds $200 million.
Green-building standards that Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is developing in conjunction with the U.S. Green Building Council will be patterned partly after the GS&C-designed AMD office campus in Austin.
AMD estimates green measures being blended into the project total $11.5 million. One of those measures is an innovative system that will collect rainwater from the roofs of the buildings. About 360,000 gallons of the water will provide 100 percent of the site’s irrigation. The harvested rainwater also will lower the amount of treated city-provided water used for the campus’ cooling towers by about 12 percent, or more than 7 million gallons per year.
“I am not aware of another rainwater collection system or a cooling tower system accomplished at this scale,” Cornelius says. “As our water resources become more valuable, it is easy to see that this system will offer a return on monetary investment in addition to its present and future environmental dividends.”
Other environmentally sensitive features of the project include:
-- 100 percent renewable energy from the Austin Energy Green Choice™ program.
-- 100 percent native landscaping.
-- 100 percent structured parking, eliminating all surface lots.
-- Natural day lighting in all of the office buildings, using exterior sunshades and tandem light shelves on the interior.
-- 42 percent of the 59-acre property is being maintained in its predevelopment condition.
With guidance from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, dozens of AMD volunteers and several professional crews salvaged about 5,000 plants and trees. Over a three-week period, the plants and trees were removed using only hand tools. More than 60 truckloads of the plants and trees were hauled to the Wildflower Center, where they are being maintained for replanting on the site.
“What I hope other companies can learn from the AMD project is that an environmental response can be much more than a political response, but can be a highly effective technical solution, offer measurable life-cycle cost savings and ultimately have an even higher impact on its employees than its corporate image,” Cornelius says.
GS&C, based in Austin, Texas, specializes in high-quality, client-focused architecture and interior design services for the technology, education, corporate, healthcare, finance and residential sectors. For more information, visit www.gsc-inc.com.
UpWord Communication, for GS&C