Dual-flush toilets, bamboo flooring, daylighting, and radiant ceiling panels – while these green building features are increasingly common today, they were groundbreaking in 2006 when Dagher Engineering completed a major retrofit of their office. Adding these technologies to a Depression-era office building was a big challenge, since they were completely unknown to the building owner and contractors, according to Erika Duran and Elias Dagher at an EP Building Tour.
The retrofit also featured “behind the scenes” equipment, including MERV 15 filters and ultra-violet light treatment for indoor air quality, and demand-controlled ventilation with variable frequency drives (VFD) inside the central air conditioning unit. Like a trophy, the unit itself is displayed in a glass room by the main office entrance. Exposed air ducts and labeled piping radiate from this room, running along ceilings and walls throughout the entire office. Chilled water runs through a radiant cooling panel in the conference room. Taken together, these features allow Dagher to function comfortably in their space with energy consumption a dramatic 60% lower than similar tenants in the same building.
“Walking the walk” in its own space helps to convince clients of the firm’s dedication and passion for green building, says Dagher. And walking equipment through its paces in their home office serves as a testing ground for new technologies that clients may be interested in as well. And for the future? Dagher hinted that the next retrofit might take the LEED Gold Certified Interior to Passive House standards. Onwards!