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Environmental Way building wins LEED precertification

A University City office building has earned platinum-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, precertification, according to the Machen Advisory Group.

David Bowles purchased the Environmental Way building at 1000 Louis Rose Place in 2009 to make it a working and educational laboratory for sustainable practices for commercial property owners.

Last year, Bowles said he hoped to rehabilitate his company’s new headquarters to show how “green” techniques could be cost-effective.

Bowles, the owner of Environmental Services of Charlotte and electrical company EMCI, said the building uses an ice-thermal storage system in which ice is made during off-peak hours in a storage tank to store cold energy for use during peak hours.

The building, which had housed the IBM and First Union building, also will use a vertical-axis wind generator that will store power in a bank of batteries to provide energy for exit lighting and small appliances.

Beth Machen, president of Charlotte-based Machen Advisory Group and the LEED project manager for Environmental Way, said the finish on the building’s walls is made of tree bark. Wood from an eastern North Carolina homestead was used for artwork frames and to build a bench for one of the lobbies, she said.

In another environmentally friendly move, Environmental Way used goats to clear a portion of the property instead of construction equipment.

The building is available for tours and community events that encourage sustainable practices.

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