Go team, do your thing

Self-serving update on our green building project

Two members of our green dream team: architect Allan Hoshida and mechanical engineer John Thompson.

Two members of our green dream team: architect Allan Hoshida and mechanical engineer John Thompson.

SN&R Photo By Sena Christian

Please don’t be annoyed with the company newsletter-like tone of this column. Every once in awhile, I have to keep the Suits happy (hey, a girl’s gotta eat). Besides, I like giving a shout-out to people doing good work, so please allow me to update you on SN&R’s green building project. Perhaps you’ve heard, but perhaps you have not. Either way, I like repeating myself, so I’ll tell you again that SN&R bought a building on Del Paso Boulevard and we’re attempting to renovate it using green building principles, which means incorporating design and construction practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative environmental impacts of our 19,000-square-foot building and 24,000-square-foot parking lot. Buildings account for more than 40 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. That is unacceptable!

As anyone who has ever played organized sports knows, while highly-skilled individual showboats, such as myself, are critical to the team, it’s the whole team that really matters. On that note, I am pleased to announce the formation of our design team. We already have the architect, who we’ll call the team captain—Allan Hoshida of Hoshida and Reyes; and our playmaker, contractor Mark Wright of Sunseri Construction. Now we have our mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, landscape architect and we may acquire a civil engineer at some point. And, of course, we have all of you guys—our loyal fans.

John Thompson, a mechanical engineer with Turley and Associates, was the first to sign on and he’ll look at how we heat and cool our building. We plan on using energy-efficient HVAC systems, whole-house fans and several ceiling fans. Unfortunately, we don’t have the budget to try out one of those new-fangled thermal ice storage systems. Thompson will also address our insulation concerns. As you darlings know, proper insulation provides a continuous thermal barrier to minimize heat flow through the walls, and some eco-friendly types include: recycled cotton denim, spray-applied soy-based foam, natural wool and recycled newspaper.

And now, please help us also welcome Amanda Martinez, an electrical engineer with Rex Moore. She doesn’t know this, but as Eco Warrior Princess, I have deemed her my eco-feminista comrade because whenever I see a young woman doing her thing in a field dominated by men, I want to say “You go girl!” But then I remember it’s no longer the late 1990s. Martinez, along with the help of designer Michael Justice, will design our lighting and electrical system, which is too complex to explain in one sentence (in the future, I’ll use a whole column). We’re doing common-sense stuff, like occupancy sensors, but we also want to maximize task lighting, look into compact fluorescent overhead lighting and explore light-emitting diodes.

And last, but certainly not least, is landscape architect Susan Collopy of the HLA Group, who will make our outside pretty and shaded with trees, while helping us figure out what to do with our parking lot. Because, oh girl, let me tell you, the current parking lot is tore-up black asphalt, which is contributing to a heat island effect and when storm water drains, all that dirty water containing oils, anti-freezes, fertilizers and sediment goes into our rivers and lakes. Instead, we want something that won’t make us hot or harm our fish, which could be asphalt made from recycled tires, recycled concrete, pervious pavement or maybe something else. We also want to implement irrigation measures that conserve water.

Because the building is located in the North Sacramento redevelopment zone, Molly Oser, a senior planner, and Nick Baral, a construction technician, both of the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency are also helping with the project.

Now, we’re back to researching green building. If you have some good tips, want to give me a guided tour of your green building or have a product to tell me about, speak up. Soon, I will prepare another blatantly self-serving column to let y’all know how our design process is coming along. Bet you can’t wait!