Though “going green” was once seen as a niche concept reserved for a small segment of the business population, area law firms are seeing the value in adopting green policies.
One Amherst firm has taken green to the extreme, constructing an 80,000-square-foot new building that, when completed in December, will be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. HoganWillig PLLC is constructing the facility across from its current location on John James Audobon Parkway in Amherst, under the direction of Iskalo Development Corp. President and CEO Paul Iskalo.
“When we started working with HoganWillig, the desire was for us to research and find out what productivity-enhancing features we could incorporate into the building,” Iskalo said. Highlighting those features: an under-floor heating and cooling system that, in addition to producing healthier air to breathe, is green.
“By introducing the air under the floor and through natural convection, it allows the air to rise up and then be exhausted at the ceiling,” he explained. “This requires less energy to heat and cool the space because we aren’t forcing air in.”
The building is also being fitted with low-flow fixtures that are expected to be 22 percent more efficient than those commonly installed in office buildings. Thanks to a design that will allow every person working in the building to have a view of the outside, natural lighting will reduce energy waste as well.
“We are using ambient light sensors in the lighting so when you have a nice bright day outside, the lighting in the building is dimmed so you are using less energy and relying more on the natural light,” Iskalo said.
The HoganWillig building is reaping green benefits before it is even occupied, with a construction plan that has reduced landfill waste by recycling construction materials and reducing environmental impacts by using a minimum of 20 percent of constuction materials from regional sources.
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