Sota Construction Services achieved LEED Platinum for its new offices

March 20, 2013

Sota Construction Services Inc’s newly constructed office building reached a LEED score that makes it one of the greenest buildings in the world. Four evolveEA LEED consulting projects, including this building, achieved LEED Platinum Certification in 2012.

Pittsburgh, PA — Sota Construction Services Inc. has a new office building that sets new standards for sustainable building practices by incorporating numerous approaches including: passive and very high efficiency active radiant slab heating and cooling systems served by  geothermal heat pumps, natural ventilation systems, extensive use of natural materials such as straw bale and cob wall construction, reused and recycled materials, day lighting, rainwater harvesting, low water use fixtures, a roof-mounted photovoltaic system that provides over half the building’s energy, and sustainable landscaping.

The building achieved the most LEED points ever awarded in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the fifth-highest score in the entire LEED system worldwide. With 62 points out of a possible 69, the score amounts to 90% of possible points in the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED ranking system. The project included several years of research and a team of local, national and international experts to craft the unique design and engineering approaches used.

Ernie Sota, President of Sota Construction Services said, “Our project team used the LEED Rating system to systematically evaluate comprehensive approaches to sustainability. The result is a delightful, healthy and comfortable office that is full of daylight and wonderfully connected to the surrounding meadow and woods.” Marc Mondor, AIA, USGBC LEED Faculty, confirms the project team’s unique achievements, “This project shows that businesses can reduce their environmental footprint by creatively integrating traditional construction techniques and current technology. The design and construction team demonstrated that integrative design can produce compelling and cost effective high performance places!”

evolveEA contributed to the project with LEED consulting services, helping the rest of the team in their efforts to earn LEED points and surpass the Platinum threshold. The project team also included Sota Construction Services, Studio d’Arc (Pittsburgh, PA), ARUP International (London, UK), Building Science Corporation (Boston, MA), Iams Consulting (Pittsburgh, PA), Tudi Mechanical (Pittsburgh, PA), Greenweavers (Carbondale, CO), and Construction Junction (Pittsburgh, PA).

For evolveEA, the project marked the end of a year of unprecedented achievements in our LEED consulting and management work. Our first Platinum level certification was awarded in February for Dubuque Iowa’s Roshek Building, housing offices for IBM. Later in the year, our work resulted in LEED Platinum certification under the Existing Buildings: Operations & Management system for two of Pittsburgh’s well-known green buildings, The David L. Lawrence Convention Center and the Production Greenhouse at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

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