For the past 15 years my architecture firm, EHDD, has been advancing the concept of net zero energy buildings as a response to the challenge of climate change. Morgan Creek Ventures’ goals for Boulder Commons took the stakes up a notch and led to an innovative, unexpected solution. Until Boulder Commons, our designs had been for committed clients who were developing their buildings for their own use. The projects, including the LEED Platinum and net zero energy-certifiedDavid & Lucile Packard Foundation Headquarters, topped out at two stories and were all located in California, a relatively mild heating climate.
In contrast, Boulder Commons is a four-story speculative office building. A speculative office building means that you don’t know who the building users are and how motivated they will be to reduce energy use related to such things as lighting and plug loads – everything that is plugged into electrical outlets. The “green lease” that Morgan Creek developed for this project addresses this and could potentially have as much sustainability impact as any of the physical design elements.