On a dense urban lot in downtown Montgomery, AL, across from the state capital, the Alabama Association of Realtors has built a new headquarters, showcasing many green design and construction techniques. Designed by Goodwyn Mills and Cawood, the new building utilizes a vegetated roof to maximize the usable space on their tight lot. The result is over 19,000 SF of usable open space for hosting parties and educational events. Building on the natural cooling effect of the vegetated roof, the building and site also utilize reflective materials to reduce temperatures and the associated Urban Heat Island Effect.
The new building is designed to conserve energy, with high levels of insulation, a heat reflecting roof, and “smart” lighting and HVAC systems. Lighting and air conditioning for each office and workspace are individually programmed and controlled for maximum efficiency. This will reduce CO2 emissions by 290 metric tons each year, and save us an estimated $8,500 a year in energy costs.
Efficient plumbing fixtures result in an annual Indoor Water Savings 17,000 gallons, a 40% reduction from a typical building. Using an innovative new non-chemical water treatment system, cooling tower water usage has been reduced by 27%. As well, 55 gallons of chemicals that would have been used annually have been eliminated and not discharged into our storm sewers.
During the construction of the building, 50% of the construction waste was recycled. Metals from the demolition of the old Realtors Headquarters on this site were recycled and the brick and concrete were re-used in the foundation of our new building. They continue to reduce waste and conserve resources by recycling paper, plastic, aluminum, and cardboard within the building.
Over $400,000 worth of materials used in the Realtors new Headquarters building were extracted, harvested, and manufactured within 500 miles, and about $115,000 worth of those materials came from within 250 miles of our building. Buying local supports our local economy and reduces pollution associated with material transport.