DETROIT - Albert Kahn Associates Inc. (AKA) announced that the Acheson Venture LLC Harborside Office Center located in Port Huron, Mich., received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Core and Shell Silver Level Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Harborside Office Center is the first of several new facilities to be constructed as part of a 77-acre brownfield redevelopment site occurring in Port Huron. Located at the confluence of the Black and St. Clair Rivers, this 110,000-square-foot, four-story structure is comprised of a glass and metal office block set upon a canted, rusticated brick base. Housed within is the building's main lobby on the first floor, with employee lounges at each of the upper levels. The building is sited to capitalize on views of the river, and tenants may access the outdoors via breakout spaces and terraces on every floor.

AKA engineers gave careful consideration to integrating a combination of energy saving solutions into the building. The HVAC system includes a building management component that monitors and automatically adjusts dampers and fan speeds without compromising desired climate conditions. Low-E glass and solar shading devices were utilized to reduce heat loss, and light shelves were installed on the east, south, and west facades to bring daylight further into the building and reduce the amount of electricity needed to light office spaces.

An attached 375-space parking garage, complete with a walking path, roof garden, music, ambient lighting, and a bioswale, fulfills both practical and aesthetic program requirements outlined by the client. Functionally, it provides tenants with direct and safe access to their work environment, and serves to treat stormwater on-site before it is released into the municipal storm system. Aesthetically, the bioswale introduces daylight deep into the garage, while shade from its concrete mass creates a cooler microenvironment where visitors may find refuge from the hot Midwest summer sun.

Non-toxic, low-emitting materials were used wherever possible, and over 80 percent of construction debris was diverted from landfills. Furthermore, 20 percent of building materials came from recycled content, and 36 percent of the products used in construction were manufactured within 500 miles of the jobsite. These figures are all in excess of local code requirements, and many exceed the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED program requirements.

Publication date: 06/26/2006