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Architects Upgrade Historic Grocery To LEED Standards

A local architecture firm recently renovated a former grocery store into the City of Tampa's first historic building restored to U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold standards.

The 1930s historic grocery store, located at 1708 E. Columbus Dr. in Tampa, is now home to Clearwater’s Design Styles Architecture+ (dsa+). The firm spent the past year restoring and repairing extensive structural damage, turning an old, dilapidated building into an "exciting, functional, energy-efficient and historic office space,'' says Andy Dohmen, AIA, Design Styles' principal.

During renovations, Dohmen and his team set out to attain LEED Golf Certification for New Construction and Major Renovations, transforming the 5,000-square-foot, two-story historic Ybor City building into yet another example of environmentally friendly growth in the greater Tampa Bay community.

"We outgrew our Clearwater office and were looking for a new home,'' Dohmen says. "[This building] was the perfect choice, and now that construction is complete and we have settled in, we are 'going for the gold' by applying for the USGBC LEED certification.''

Now a usable office space, the building performs 36 percent more efficiently; contains certified plumbing fixtures that reduce water use by 20 percent, which will save an estimated 13,000 gallons of water annually; uses brick pavers in the parking area and a reflective roof to help to reduce heat island effect; contains salvaged and re-used structurally sound material; and features better indoor air quality, including strict use of low VOC (volatile organic compounds) emitting materials, a 25-foot smoke-free zone around the entire building perimeter and daylight optimization, providing natural light to more than 75 percent of regularly occupied spaces in the building.

"By utilizing LEED standards in the historic rehabilitation, we maintained much of the building's original fabric, keeping the same decorative molding and original tile in the baths and kitchen,'' Dohmen says. "Additionally, we incorporated new elements such as the roof, reinforced exterior wall and entire second floor reconstruction including electrical, plumbing, mechanical and air conditioning systems.''

LEED contributes to a community's smart growth and is the rating system for the design, construction and performance of green buildings. An open house is planned for the building on August 29th.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Andy Dohmen, DSA+
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