Best New Building

Alberici Group headquarters

It's not easy being LEED: The worldwide designation for "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design," bestowed on buildings by the U.S. Green Building Council, requires strict adherence to standards addressing everything from how and with what chemicals the inside of the building is cleaned to the level of water reclamation a project has in place. For the greenest of the green, a hierarchy of LEED certification (which culminates in platinum) assigns points for providing natural daylight and outdoor views to workers, reusing an existing building, keeping a cap on the distance from which supplies are collected and offering bicycle storage and changing rooms for commuters. We bet the folks at Alberici Enterprises (and lead architects Mackey Mitchell Associates) were real overachievers in school: When they decided to go LEED with their new headquarters near Page and I-170, they were aiming Platinum. And as of July of this year, not only are they riding high on their Platinum bling, but their headquarters got the nod for the greatest number of points ever awarded to a new-construction LEED project -- 60 out of a possible 69. (The company points out that "the 9 points that would have given Alberici a perfect score were credits that the company elected not to pursue, or were impossible to achieve on the site.") What makes the building so great? Openness and actual fresh air (which flows in when a sensor determines the outside temperature and humidity are acceptable), a state-of-the-art cafeteria and kitchen, covered parking in an existing building that reduces heat-collecting asphalt, recycling stations and, perhaps most visible, a tall white wind turbine that generates power. Company execs say employees feel better, and the work environment has sparked interaction and innovation. The only downside? This is Missouri's only Platinum-certified project.
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