St. Petersburg achieves first net-zero energy office building

December 7, 2012

The city of St. Petersburg, Florida, celebrated the grand opening of its first net-zero energy office building. ENews Park Forest reports that the facility is fully self sustaining and incorporates the use of multiple energy efficient technologies. Located at 1990 Central Avenue in the city's Grand Central District, the structure houses the Sierra Club's state headquarters, Big Sea Design and Development and Roundhouse Creative Studio.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), office buildings take up the second largest amount of buildings and floorspace in the nation. However, out of all building types, offices account for nearly 19 percent of all commercial energy consumption – using about 1.0 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu). The increased amounts of energy office buildings typically use make incorporating sustainable technology a necessary change for the future.

"These days, green businesses aren’t just focused on developing earth-friendly technologies, they are committed to offering a product or service that consumers know has little to no environmental impact," said Tom Hall, the building’s developer and Managing Partner of All Florida Management. "The emergence of this new green business culture has allowed our company to focus on meeting the needs of the small business community by dedicating ourselves to cultivating environmentally conscious commercial building platforms that reflect both our clients’ personal and professional values."

The paperwork for getting the building certified by as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum has been submitted to the U.S. Green Building Council.

"I am so proud to announce that Sierra Club is opening its first-ever net zero energy office in Florida. Buildings like this will be one of the important solutions we need to implement in order to move our country beyond coal and oil. We hope that this building will serve as an inspiration and an example for others thinking about construction and renovation in Florida and beyond."

By incorporating the use of energy-saving technology and materials, developers are place emphasis on sustainability. The green-energy movement is increasingly present across the nation, as multiple agencies strive to increase the number of structures built with and including the latest solutions. 

The Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub), established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), was intended as an Energy-Regional Innovation Center. With the help of other organizations, EEB Hub hopes to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and promote regional economic growth.