Project Name: Hurt Building
Submission Contact Name: Pamela Moua
Company: Harbor Group International
Phone: (770) 916-7158
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
LEED Certification Level of Project: LEED-EB: O&M, Gold Certification
Design and Construction team:
Servidyne Systems, LLC
A member of the National Register of Historic Places since 1977, the Hurt Building is one of the most highly visible, recognizable, and architecturally significant examples of early skyscraper construction in the United States. Constructed between 1913 and 1926, it is one of Atlanta ’s few triangular shaped buildings. Six decades later, beginning in 1983, the Hurt Building was completely renovated, inside and out, including modernization of the mechanical and electrical systems, followed by a grand reopening in 1985.
Prominently standing 18 stories in height, the Hurt Building’s lower four floors were designed to envelope the maximum allowable building site, with the exception of the western building apex, which was constructed 30 feet back in order to enhance window area and promote the majestic view of Atlanta’s burgeoning city. The upper 13 floors of the building, configured in a “V,” are appointed by an open light well, accentuated by elevated garden areas.
The building is located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, in close proximity to central government and business districts, Georgia State University and public transportation. The Rotunda entrance, located at the apex of the triangle, is set back from the street, giving it a greater presence. The three-story rotunda’s domed ceiling is decorated with starbursts and gold leaf panels. A circular marble staircase leads to the restaurant on the second floor and the grand lobby with its rose granite walls and black marble floors.
Planters with live trees, shrubs and flowers are located along the sidewalk edges of the building, in the elevated garden areas between the building wings, and in large natural areas in the lobby. A covered parking deck located across the street, which was expanded and renovated in 2002, features nine parking levels with 625 spaces.
Among the Hurt Building ’s tenants are major civic and non-profit organizations such as Central Atlanta Progress and the Woodruff Foundation. The tenants were responsible for spurring the first environmental initiative at the building, which was the launching of a building-wide recycling program. Building management and the tenants have embraced sustainability efforts that have broadened to include a greatly expanded recycling program, as well as green cleaning, integrated pest management, alternative transportation programs, water and energy efficiency measures, improved air filtration, and more. Key to the success of these initiatives has been the close collaboration between building staff, strategic vendors and tenants.
Water efficiency emerged as a core element early in the development of the Hurt Building ’s sustainability program. Not only is water a critical issue for Georgia, but particularly in Atlanta as well, where the city faces a formidable challenge of modernizing its aging infrastructure. The 4.5 gallons per flush toilets at the Hurt Building were not helping matters much.
Building ownership committed to an aggressive efficiency effort. To date, over 40 percent of the toilets have been replaced with water-efficient models, and lower use flush valves have been installed on all remaining toilets and urinals in the building. The work was performed in-house to stretch budget dollars further. These measures are projected to reduce the building’s fixture water consumption by 44 percent.
In addition, the building utilizes a rainwater collection system, with roof drains piped to two 500-gallon storage tanks in the basement. The collected rainwater is then used for irrigation of indoor planters and the elevated outdoor gardens. The building engineer also recently designed and installed a system to capture condensate from air conditioning equipment for use as cooling tower make-up water.
The Hurt Building’s ENERGY STAR rating of 91 might indicate that energy efficiency improvements would be hard to come by, particularly considering that some of the building’s HVAC systems date back to the 1950’s, when the building was first air conditioned. Not so, when there is a diligent team effort toward continuous improvement. Lighting retrofits with lower wattage lamps and fine tuning of HVAC control strategies have continued the building’s downward trend in energy use. An energy audit performed recently also identified energy capital projects for budgeting over the next several years.
The LEED certification process has been both an initial catalyst and an on-going guide for the Hurt Building ’s sustainability program. Building ownership, management, staff, tenants and vendor partners are all looking forward to the culmination of the process with great anticipation, recognizing that LEED certification will provide a new platform to help spread the message and the experience of the benefits of building sustainability.