Building a Green Future EPA, Region 10 Tenant Improvement Project | Region 10 | US EPA

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Building a Green Future EPA, Region 10 Tenant Improvement Project

The US Environmental Protection Agency is charged with preserving and protecting the nation’s environment, natural resources and public health. Our mission is primarily regulatory, and for years we have encouraged industries we regulate to adopt pollution prevention measures as a sound business practice in lieu of paying fines levied for violations after the fact. Because we believe that it is important for EPA to lead by example, EPA’s Region 10 office opted to explore environmentally responsible design and construction as a pollution prevention measure in the renovation of the 16th floor of the ParkPlace building.

Areas covered by project:

Although we rarely undertake large-scale construction projects, we recently remodeled and added 8,000 sq. ft. of office space to our Seattle Regional Office. We wanted to demonstrate approaches to space planning and small tenant improvements that would allow significant flexibility, encourage the creation of smaller offices, and reuse as many materials as possible. Our goals were to minimize the consumption of natural, financial and infrastructure resources, to limit our contribution to the waste stream, and to safeguard the health of other tenants occupying the floor during the construction.

To reach those goals, we focused on the following principles:

1. Design for maximum reuse of pre-existing construction materials.
2. Reduce the environmental impact of the project by sorting, separating and recycling
construction materials and deconstruction debris we were unable to reuse.
3. Design for energy efficiency, implementing energy conservation features and
emphasizing the use of natural daylight.
4. Provide a high quality indoor air environment during construction and during
occupation and operation.
5. Create a space that is aesthetically pleasing, while demonstrating our commitment to
reuse materials and to specify environmentally preferable products.
6. Design flexibly for future changes to reduce future deconstruction/construction and
associated impacts.
7. Document lessons learned for use by others.

Learn more about this project by downloading "Environmentally Responsible Design and Construction at EPA Region 10" by Pollution Prevention Review, Winter 2001. To view this file you will need Adobe® Acrobat® Reader™


To view information on this project provided to AIA, Seattle download the attached pdf file. To view this file you will need Adobe® Acrobat® Reader™


Project Partners:

Business and Industry Recycling Venture 206-389-7304
Certified Forest Products Council 503-590-6600
Milliken Carpet 800-241-4826
Paladino Consulting 206-522-7600
SMED International 206-405-4254
Pacific Construction 425-455-3000
Burgess Design 206 587-7120
The Benaroya Company 206 343-1200

Key Project Findings:

• All team members must have a clear understanding of the project’s goals, their role on the
team, and how final decisions will be made. Make sure top management knows about and
agrees with all the goals of the project. They must be committed to the project and to the
success of meeting those goals.
• Write clear, precise, comprehensive, well organized and well researched specifications.
• Communicate with the tradespeople working on the site and make sure that they have read
their part of the specifications.
• Be prepared for trade offs. Be prepared to weigh the trade-offs among the cost, aesthetics,
long term benefits and the environmental profile of a product or of the manufacturer.
• The most common argument against “green” construction projects is that they are too
costly, but that was not the case here. We realized an overall savings of $34,270 by reusing, salvaging and recycling materials on a small tenant improvement.
• Given more time we could have formed more partnerships in locating specific recycled or
reused materials for our project.

Project Dates: May 1999 - October 1999

EPA Funding Level: $147,000

Project Deliverables:

1. What Makes it GREEN? A Review of Case Studies from Earth Day 2000. AIA Seattle Committee on the Environment.
2. Pollution Prevention Magazine Article, Winter 2000 Issue.

EPA Contact:
1. Jonell Allamano, Infrastructure and Operations Unit, (206) 553-2954,
2. Andrew Hendrickson, Infrastructure and Operations Unit, (206) 553-0302,
3. Donna Brookfield, Infrastructure and Operations Unit, (206) 553-0082,

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