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Greening the Historic Hangars at Hamilton Landing

When Barker Pacific Group (BPG) purchased seven decrepit airplane hangars on 22 acres at Hamilton Air Force Base in 1999, the green building revolution was years away from taking hold in the commercial or residential development industries. But BPG had long recognized the value in finding cost-effective and creative ways to redevelop underused older buildings. Some simply have a special class, style or history that makes an office project unique; new buildings rarely offer tenants that panache.

The hangars at Hamilton weren't considered historic by Novato or Marin County. This meant there was no dictate to preserve them - but we saw a unique opportunity that would benefit the community and add an exceptional new office campus to the Marin landscape. It would be unique, attractive to creative and innovative companies that wanted to locate and grow in the North Bay. It would also appeal to employees who wanted to walk to work or explore the shores of the Bay.

The architects and engineers carved out approximately 64,000 feet of office space by adding a second floor inside each 33,000-square-foot building. They identified an innovative, elevated flooring HVAC system that solves some of the site's physical challenges and provides energy-efficient, fresh air to every employee within the building. Because of this new system, which provides comfort, indoor air quality and energy conservation, the project won a first place award from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air¬ Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) for commercial buildings. Employees who work in the hangars enjoy the highest indoor air quality (IAQ) of any office project in Marin and Sonoma counties.

The elevated flooring system meant we could also install electrical and telecommunication lines quickly and easily throughout the building, which minimizes post-construction waste when reconfiguring office space. The power distribution system eliminates the need for costly electrified furniture systems. For the most efficient lighting (and to meet the challenge of providing the best light with the least glare at desk height), we provided indirect reflective lighting in the 38-foot trussed ceilings. The hangars have a building management system (BMS) that shuts off the lights in every suite at a scheduled time to save energy. Operable windows provide fresh air and a connection to the outdoors for better ventilation during weekend work.

Some of the other green amenities include:

• Energy efficiency above Title 24 standards;

• Bicycle storage and parking facilities;

• Men's and women's shower/locker rooms;

• Preferential parking for carpooling and vanpooling tenants;

• Low-flow water devices;

• Drip irrigation for all onsite landscaping;

• Low VOC paints and carpet glue;

• High-performance, coated glass that reflects more solar energy and therefore doesn't absorb as much heat, so the glass mitigates solar heat load and buildings require less air conditioning;

• T-5 fluorescent lamps, the most efficient type of lighting;

• HVAC units with variable frequency drives (VFDs), which adjust to variable load requirements and ramp down engine output as need decreases;

• Light-colored, insulated roofs that are more reflective and don't absorb as much heat; and

• Low-emitting carpet tile (which is more modular than rolled carpet and it fits well with the under floor system) made with recycled content. The manufacturer will take back old carpet and recycle it into new product, and BPG provides carbon offset credits for carpet tile produced for tenant suites.

Today, tenants are finding it's increasingly important to be in a work environment with minimal environmental impact. Yet, while some developers and building managers are just discovering that owning and operating green buildings can be more than a marketing ploy, Barker Pacific Group has been doing it for years at Hamilton Landing and in many of its other projects. Going green generates real efficiencies that, over time, save tenants money and provide a competitive edge in the real estate market.

Since it provides a highly attractive and environmentally friendly office environment, Hamilton Landing's seven hangars are fully leased. Many tenants say green features played a significant role in their decision to locate there. Tenants are proud of their office spaces-both with their unique aesthetics and their environmentally friendly attributes.

With the historic aircraft hangars at Hamilton Landing about to be completed, BPG will now turn its attention to the last remaining two-acre development site. It's now designing a 58,OOO-square-foot entry monument building that will be submitted for LEED certification. The new building will provide expansion space for Hamilton Landing's existing tenants and an opportunity for more companies to relocate to the green campus.

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