Last Saturday evening, at its annual GalaVerde awards ceremony, held at the Hyatt Pier 99 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the US Green Building Council South Florida Chapter announced the winners of its 2015 LEEDership and Green Awards Program. Palm Court, in the Miami Design District, received the award for Outstanding LEED Core & Shell project. Project architect SB Architects and sustainability consultant Spinnaker Group were on hand to accept the award.
Developed by Miami-based Dacra Development, Palm Court is the second of numerous phases of development that are transforming the Miami Design District from a forgotten part of town into a community dedicated to art and design. The ambitious expansion increases the district’s retail, commercial and art exhibition space, creating a new destination for Miami. As the master architect for the project, SB Architects designed the core and shell – the architectural skeleton for the block – addressing building structure, overall identity and the movement of people through space. The Spinnaker Group acted as sustainability consultant for the project.
In August, the U.S. Green Building Council announced that Palm Court had earned LEED Gold certification for Core & Shell. The LEED Green Building Rating System, overseen by the U.S. Green Building Council, is a voluntary, consensus-based national rating system for developing high-performing, sustainable buildings.
A team from SB Architects was on hand to represent the firm, and proudly accept the award. From left: Amie Edmiston, Josh Abbey, Pinar Harris, Ivan Burbano and Jorey Friedman.
Several elements of the development and design of Palm Court played important roles in the project’s sustainability. Set in the heart of the city’s existing Design District, Palm Court utilizes an infill site, capitalizing upon development density, community connection and access to public transportation. The team implemented guidelines to ensure that its luxury retail tenants built out their spaces sustainably, matching the sustainability goals for the overall project. The team also managed construction waste, used recycled, locally-sourced and sustainable materials, optimized energy performance, and utilized systems to reduce water use. Nearly every roof in the development is planted as a green roof, providing not only thermal cooling, but a stunning rooftop landscape design mimicking past hurricane patterns over Miami, viewable from the airline flight path that runs directly above the site. Palm Court also achieved several “Innovation in Design” credits in the “Exemplary Performance” category for going above and beyond the standard threshold for numerous criteria.
The sixth annual LEEDership and Green Awards Program recognized “outstanding projects, inspirational businesses and dedicated individuals who are leading the way to a more sustainably built environment.” Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and Founding Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council, served as the keynote speaker for the evening, which honored the best of the South Florida green-building community.
SB Architects continues to work with Dacra on additional phases of the transformation of the Miami Design District, including Phase 3 – Paradise Plaza – now under construction.