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City’s First Net Zero Energy Office Building Opens Doors for New Generation of Green Entrepreneurs and Sierra Club Florida Headquarters

St. Petersburg, FL–(ENEWSPF)–December 3, 2012 —Today, the city of St. Petersburg—Florida’s inaugural green city—celebrated the grand opening of its first net zero energy, fully self-sustaining commercial office building located at 1990 Central Avenue in the city’s historic Grand Central District.  The building now houses Sierra Club’s state headquarters and the shared creative space of Big Sea Design and Development and Roundhouse Creative Studio.

“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.”

Andrew Lee, Roundhouse Creative Studio’s owner and creative director notes a similar sentiment when it comes to the principle of location as a reflection of core values, “Not only was the idea of never having an electricity or water bill appealing, but so was the opportunity to claim a work environment that perfectly complements our own personal values.”

“We also know that a sustainable studio environment will appeal to our target clients, so relocating was an easy decision,” adds Andi Graham, principal at Big Sea Design & Development.

While Hall sees the business opportunity that will come with expanding the city of St. Petersburg’s green landscape, Mary Anne Hitt, Director of Sierra Club’s national Beyond Coal campaign, says, “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.  Sierra Club members and staff have been working to make our homes energy efficient and powered by clean energy, and now, our volunteers and staff in Florida can come to work for the clean energy future in an office building that matches our values. We hope that this building will serve as an inspiration and an example for others thinking about construction and renovation in Florida and beyond.”

Both Hitt and Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune have recently installed solar panels on their homes in Sheperdstown, WV, and San Francisco, CA, respectively. 

For this project, All Florida Management partnered with Bosch, a leader in the development of next generation technologies that deliver improved performance and efficiency while conserving natural resources.  They outfitted the city’s greenest landmark with an array of state of the art technologies that allow the building’s proprietors to advertise their businesses as having a near zero environmental impact. Here’s how:

LEED Platinum Certification:  All Florida Management Group has submitted through the USGBC-LEED rating program for LEED Platinum commissioning, which is recognized internationally as the highest level of green building certification.

Geothermal HVAC: A water-to-air Bosch geothermal system acts as the building’s heating and cooling system and is recognized as one of the most efficient HVAC systems on the market today with energy ratings topping 30EER.

Building Envelope: Roof insulation exceeding R-40, double insulated windows with Low E and double reflective tint, foam filled CMU, rigid foam insulation providing long-term R-value (RSI) provides essential protection from the intense Florida sun bolstering the building’s energy efficiency from the outside in.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels: Equipped with industry leading Bosch photovoltaic solar panels; this building boasts one of the largest solar energy systems in the area. Powered fully by the sun, these high powered solar panels are expected to return energy to the city’s power grid.

Tankless Point of Use Water Heaters: Hyper efficient Bosch water heaters equipped with low kW settings provide hot water at 99% efficiency and minimize stand-by loss, saving both energy and water.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations: Participating in the growing Charge Point America program, electric vehicle drivers will be welcomed to charge their vehicles beneath the building’s solar powered carport.

Recycling:  Building tenants have committed to participating in a weekly recycling program collecting cardboard, paper, plastics and metals that will be taken to local collection facilities for cost efficient recycling.

About the developer & tenants of the net zero energy building:

All Florida Management   All Florida Management Group, Inc. is a vertically integrated company founded in 2009 that incorporates solar, construction, management, design, engineering, marketing and consulting that focuses on net zero project developments. Our build/design/consulting mission is to reach or exceed grid independence for smaller commercial buildings ranging from 15,000sqft or less using solar and innovative building technologies.                                                                                                                                                                         

Big Sea Design & Development is a boutique web design & development agency based in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Founded in 2005, Big Sea builds brands, websites, digital marketing strategies, web apps and mobile apps for entrepreneurs, small and mid-sized businesses around the world.    

Roundhouse Creative Studio cultivates brands with powerful stories to tell. Award winning videographers, graphic designers and motion animation specialists deliver the creative vision that transform our clients’ marketplace goals into an enduring brand experience.

Sierra Club Florida is the nation’s largest and oldest environmental organization with more than 2 million members and supporters nationwide.   When not exploring and enjoying nature, Sierra Club Florida staff and volunteers lead campaigns to restore the Everglades, protect wilderness and wildlife, clean up polluted air and water, and move the Sunshine State to a “net zero,” clean energy and transportation future.

Source: sierraclub.org

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