Columbia Office Building Is the First Private, Commercial, LEED™ – Certified Building in S. Carolina

Columbia, SC – 3 September 2004 – The project team of the Cox and Dinkins, Inc. Office Building is proud to announce that the facility was awarded LEED™(Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification on Thursday, July 15, 2004. It is the first private, commercial LEED-Certified building in South Carolina. Critical to the success of certification was the joint effort of the team, comprised of: Cox & Dinkins, the Owner; Curt Davis & Associates, the Architect and LEED consultant and its consulting engineers; Mashburn Construction, the Contractor; and Southeast Measurement, the Commissioning Agent.

LEED is the most vibrant and powerful force to impact building design and construction in more than a decade. The LEED rating system is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance commercial and high-rise residential buildings. It is developed and administrated by the U.S. Green Building Council. The system promotes and guides comprehensive and whole-building integrated design. LEED is divided into five environmental categories related to siting, water conservation, energy, materials, and indoor environmental quality, plus an innovation and design category. LEED is self-assessing but not self-certifying; documentation is gathered throughout the design and construction phases for compliance with LEED criteria. Once a project is completed, an intensive submittal and review process is conducted. A review committee of the USGBC ascribes points to credits it determines have met the standards. All categories excepting Water Efficiency have prerequisites that must be met before any points can be earned. Buildings are assigned one of four levels – certified, silver, gold, and platinum – which depends on the number of credits achieved.

The benefits of pursuing a LEED building are widely touted – reduced impact on the environment, improving the bottom line, and greatly enhancing the health and comfort of the building’s occupants. Cox & Dinkins staff attest to the better indoor environment quality and also seem to be more productive. Maintenance and operation costs have been significantly lowered. For example, the mechanical and electrical systems (and building envelope) were designed to achieve a 40% energy savings over the prerequisite ASHRAE standard.

The neighbors greatly appreciate the facility as well. The site of the building had been eroding badly and was an eyesore for the neighborhood. By designing a building that has a residential exterior appearance and a sophisticated lodge appearance on the interior, the site is now a model of how to effectively transition from intensive commercial development to upscale, single-family houses. The building has even become an educational tool with tours being provided to schools, professional organizations, governmental and civic entities and the entire community.

Gene Dinkins, President of Cox & Dinkins, expresses his satisfaction: "It was very important for me to build a facility that was environmentally responsible, comfortable for my employees and efficient and productive for my business. I wanted to do all of these things without having to move out of the downtown area where we have been located for over 40 years. I think we have achieved all of these goals and provided an excellent environment in which to work."

Located in Columbia, SC, for over 40 years Cox & Dinkins, Inc., has provided engineering and surveying services to private and public sector clients in SC, NC and GA.

Founded in 1984, CDA Architects providesArchitecture, Interior Design and Construction Management. CDA specializes in developing building environments for various types of clients, including government, education, medical, industrial, religious and retail.

Mashburn Construction is a full service general contractor specializing in commercial construction. Mashburn excels in providing pre-construction services and partnering early on in the process to promote a positive team environment.

Southeast Measurement is a building commissioning firm that provides quality control expertise to assure new and existing building systems are designed, constructed and operated efficiently, economically, and with environmental integrity for their building owner clients.

For more information, inquire to Ted Chalgren, Business Development @ Cox & Dinkins, (803) 254-0518; Mary Helen Wood, CDA Marketing Manager, (803) 799-6502; Pat Saad, Mashburn’s Director of Marketing, (803) 400-1000; or Robert Renner, P.E., President of Southeast Measurement, (704) 895-0048.

Photo © Brian Dressler