SAP has built a new c$90m 200,000-square-foot office in Philadelphia which is expected to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum standard in 2010. According to the press release earlier this year and a recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the building will include:
• a floor-to-ceiling glass exterior and an open-space plan that takes maximum advantage of daylight. Lighting systems dim the lighting levels and raise or lower window shades based on the level of sunlight coming through the triple-glazed glass exterior wall
• a one-acre roof garden
• an air-conditioning system that makes its own ice for cooling. Overnight, when energy demands and electric rates are low, the system makes ice, and the chilled water from the melting ice is used to cool the building during the day.
• toilets that use rainwater for flushing
• low-flow bathroom fixtures that use less water, with an expected saving of more than one million gallons of water per year
• ten 400-feet deep thermal wells in the back lawn use the constant ground temperature to both heat and cool areas of the building
• Cubicles and flooring made from recycled parts
• doors made of bamboo
• the use of native and regional vegetation species in landscaping and the maintenance of extensive open space
The energy-efficient features are expected to cut the building's energy use by almost a half, compared with conventional buildings, with the additional cost of implementing the features recovered in seven to 10 years.