Inventor Thomas Edison was convinced in 1910 that by the end of the century we would be harnessing energy from alternative sources such as the sun. It is therefore very fitting that General Electric’s energy investment arm, GE Energy Financial Services, was presented a design award by the Connecticut Chapter of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) for its recently completed headquarters.
GE Energy Financial Services is celebrated for innovation by providing alternative energy sources for the United States and abroad. As a purveyor of alternative energy strategies, it was important for their 280,000 sf headquarters project to incorporate environmental initiatives, making it as environmentally responsible as possible. As a result, the building will achieve LEED Gold certification for its use of sustainable products, lighting efficiencies, and other environmental practices.
Architecture and interior design firm Perkins Eastman teamed with Sustainable Design Collaborative (SDC) as LEED consultant to develop a sustainable design strategy that included 100% use of green power from wind, 30% reduction in water usage, 20% use of recycled materials in the project’s interior finishes, 20% use of materials manufactured within a 500 mile radius, “cradle to cradle” furniture, use of low VOC emitting materials, and incorporation of alternative transportation including provision for bicyclists. A management plan during the construction diverted over 75% of waste from landfills. GE also introduced an education venue in the public corridors using video technology, quotations from Thomas Edison about solar power, and banners indicating windmills, turbines and other means of obtaining alternative energy sources.