were created on the building’s fifth floor.
The space is used for meetings and social events.
in a 10,000-gallon cistern and used
for landscape irrigation, a water feature, and low-flow toilets and
urinals. The harvested water reduces the building’s potable water
demand by 225,470 gallons annually.
An Urban Landscape Challenge
As a pilot project for the Sustainable SITES program, Perkins+ Will’s Atlanta office at 1315 Peachtree Street transformed the entrance to a 1980s-era building into a spectacular,
10,000-square-foot outdoor space that invites the public to occupy
a comfortable, tree-shaded plaza of sustainable landscaping.
The firm’s leadership wanted
to demonstrate its commitment
to sustainability not only by the
project’s LEED Platinum-certified building, but also the
land on which it is located.
However, the compact urban
site presented unique challenges during the certification
process, according to Alexander
Stewart, LEED AP BD+C at
P+W’s Atlanta office.
“We were really limited
in the kinds of credits that
we could achieve,” Stewart
explains. “We didn’t have vast
areas to do urban agriculture
or huge habitat zones. We just
didn’t have the room for that
and in some sense we felt crip-
pled by it. We had to regroup
and ask what is achievable and
what is feasible.”
In spite of its frustrations,
P+W designed the site as
sustainably as possible within
the parameters it faced. While
performance data isn’t yet available for most SITES projects,
P+W gathered its own. As part of a Land Performance Series
study conducted in partnership with the University of Tennessee
through the Landscape Architecture Foundation, the project’s
performance data revealed a number of significant benefits:
■ Reduces stormwater runoff during a 1-inch storm event by 60%
compared to the site’s previous condition, preventing 18,036
gallons of stormwater from entering the city’s combined sewer
system. This avoids a projected $63,126 in future capital costs for
upgrades to the city’s stormwater infrastructure.
■ Reduces the project’s total potable water demand by over
225,470 gallons per year, saving over $1,841 by using harvested
rainwater for irrigation, the site’s water feature and wastewater
■ Sequesters 655 pounds of atmospheric carbon and intercepts over
2,251 gallons of rainwater annually in the project’s 11 new trees.
■ Saves an average of 7,118 k Wh and $72,084 per year by reducing site
lighting power density (LPD) to 85% below ASHRAE’s maximum
water feature was created at
the front of the building. The
plaza area was the location of
a former parking structure and
driveway that disconnected the
building from the street and