The Headquarters building sits at the heart of the largest and longest continually operating research park in the United States, encompassing 7,000 acres. Constructed in advance of the Park’s 50th anniversary celebrated in 2009, the RTP Headquarters is one of 78 LEED-certified or -registered building projects in the Research Triangle region.Designed by O’Brien/Atkins Associates, PA, the RTP Headquarters earned the Silver level certification of the U.S.Green Building Council’s LEED® Rating System (NC 2.2). The majority of LEED points for the 17,000-square-foot building were awarded in the Indoor Environmental Quality category. These design and construction considerations included the use of natural ventilation and low-emitting materials, control for light and thermal comfort, and the incorporation of daylight and views in at least 90 percent of the building’s occupied space.
Super Sky Products, Inc.‘s custom, triangular-shaped skylight played a significant role in these daylighting and performance achievements, as well as in communicating RTP Headquarters’ intended, architectural presence. The skylight caps the 6,800-square-foot Archie K. Davis Conference Center. Prominently positioned within the Park, it serves as the RTP Headquarters’ public meeting area and as the main connection to the administrative offices of the Research Triangle Foundation. Further attracting attention, the Conference Center is clad in pre-patina, recycled copper panels and its skylight is illuminated with energy-efficient LEDs.
Providing a clean, crisp look for the skylight’s gridwork, Linetec painted the aluminum framing in “Bone White” using a two-coat, 70 percent Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) coating. “PVDF coatings are the most weather-resistant of all finishes,” says Tammy Schroeder, Linetec’s marketing specialist. “The finish is applied in Linetec’s factory using specialized equipment to safely capture 100 percent of the VOCs released in the painting process, and to destroy these captured VOCs with 99 percent efficiency and environmental sensitivity.”
Barnhill Contracting Company installed the 27×74-foot skylight as a total flush glazed, single slope unit. The glass area spans 2,005-square-feet and is comprised of clear, laminated, heat-strengthened lites. Fabricated by Viracon, Inc., the glass surface was silk-screened with a white, 50 percent, standard line pattern to assist in managing unwanted solar heat gain and thermal comfort.
The RTP Headquarters earned its LEED-Silver rating in September 2008. Other activities and attributes contributing to this certification include:
* Selected and developed the construction site to protect/restore habitat and maximize open space
* Accommodated alternative transportation
* Minimized “heat island” effect with thoughtful, roof and non-roof designs
* Reduced light pollution and water use
* Employed green power sources
* 16 percent of the total construction materials contained recycled content
* 21 percent of construction materials from regional sources
* 62 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills
With more than 170 companies occupying 22.5 million square feet of developed space, RTP boasts one of the largest concentrations of high-technology workers in the country. More than 42,000 full-time equivalent employees, plus an estimated 10,000 contract workers, work in the Park.