Friday, February 22, 2013

State's Environmental Office Complex Honored for Helping Transform Downtown

State's Environmental Office Complex Honored for Helping Transform Downtown


 RALEIGH– A new environmentally-efficient state office complex is earning high marks for helping transform and revitalize downtown Raleigh.

Green Square, which serves as the headquarters for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources and a wing for the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, received an Imprint Award from the Downtown Raleigh Alliance Feb. 13.
The award recognizes significant contributions to Raleigh’s changing identity as a model for downtown growth and revitalization. Imprint Awards were given to four other downtown projects. 

“We’re extremely proud the Downtown Raleigh Alliance selected Green Square for this prestigious award,” said John Skvarla, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, or DENR. “Green Square is the state government complex’s model for efficiency. Now, it’s also a model for the capital city’s urban revival, tourism and economic development.”

Green Square includes office space for about 640 DENR employees and the museum’s new Nature Research Center, and a footbridge connecting the research center to the office building. The complex also boasts a restaurant, a shop and a parking deck.
The complex was built to the highest standards in environmental efficiency. The window-filled structure saves money on energy by relying on far more sunlight for heat than a typical office building. It also has cost-savings mechanisms for capturing and reusing rainwater for cooling the building and flushing toilets. Green Square was constructed using low-emission paints and carpentry materials, as well as locally-produced building materials. Green Square’s features earned it a gold certificate for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, the highest standard in environmental design.

Officials with the Downtown Raleigh Alliance said Green Square earned the award because the complex serves so many diverse users and helps make downtown Raleigh a more appealing destination.
“Our award is more of a way to acknowledge great projects completed in a given year,” said Paul Reimel, economic development manager for the Downtown Raleigh Alliance. “Green Square is a huge project that put a flag in downtown in terms of attracting tourists to the Nature Research Center. It’s also a multi-agency project with the parking deck that serves DENR as well as other state agencies.” 

The downtown alliance bills itself as the official nonprofit organization designated to continue Raleigh’s downtown revitalization by enhancing investments of the public and private sectors. Other projects honored with Imprint Awards at the group’s Feb. 13 annual meeting included the Hampton Inn & Suites in the Glenwood South District, the G&S Building on South Wilmington Street and 309 Dawson building that is home to Babylon restaurant and some office space.

To learn more about Green Square, check out the following page on the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ website, http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/greensquare/home.


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