May 17, 2013

Mission accomplished; DPR’s Phoenix office is officially certified as a Net-Zero Energy Building (NZEB)! Producing as much or more energy than it consumes, the LEED®-NC Platinum office building is the first in Arizona and only the second office in the U.S. to achieve NZEB certification from the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) through its Living Building Challenge(SM) program. To date, there are only four buildings in the nation with this certification.

How did we get to this point? Let’s back up. Since 1998, DPR has maintained a presence in Phoenix’s Camelback corridor. When it came time to renew our office lease, we decided to find a new location that would bring us into greater alignment with our sustainability mission and goals as a company. We found and purchased a 16,533-sq.-ft., circa-1972 building, located in the Discovery Triangle at the corner of 44th Street and Van Buren. The building was vacant for several years and needed a major facelift. Luckily, it had great bones; the roof and structure were strong and intact, and the space was conducive to our open office layout. We purposely chose a building that was nearing the end of its intended lifecycle in a redeveloping area to show our commitment to the local community and to demonstrate the impact of revitalization.

While we had already achieved net-zero in a temperate climate with our San Diego office in 2010, it was also important for us to prove that this was possible in an extreme climate like Phoenix. Our Phoenix office team researched, designed, permitted, and built a highly-efficient, modern workplace in less than 10 months. 

By being both the owner and contractor, and leveraging our project experience, we were able to push the limits and go for net-zero energy, which we hope will pioneer a movement to make it the “new norm” in green construction.

According to recent research from Navigant Research, while net-zero buildings currently make up a small fraction of the overall green building market today, worldwide revenue from net-zero buildings is projected to grow rapidly over the next two decades and reach $1.3 trillion by the year 2035.

The renovated, award-winning office building is now a living lab for our community. Through creativity and ingenuity, we have achieved beauty on all fronts.

Office Photos Courtesy of Gregg Mastorakos

Here’s one of DPR’s green leaders, Whitney Dorn, accepting the Living Building Challenge certification from the International Living Future Institute at an event on Thursday, May 16.

Photo Credit: Ted van der Linden

Read more about the office in this in-depth case study and here. You can also learn more about green construction and net-zero from this series of videos.