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green@work : Magazine : Back Issues : Sept/Oct 2003 : Cover Story

Cover Story

A Tangible Example


UPS’ environmental commitment and innovation is tangibly demonstrated at its headquarters in Atlanta, GA, (below) which was created in natural surroundings that play a prominent role in the design. Rather than building a tall skyscraper when the company relocated from Greenwich, CT, UPS designed a building that works with its natural surroundings to provide an enjoyable work environment for its employees.

The result: a 623,000-square-foot, campus-like facility surrounded by hundreds of trees—some just 15 feet from the building. There is also a half-mile jogging/walking trail that winds its way through a natural forest area. In developing its vision for the campus, UPS followed four criteria: ecological harmony, design and building management, visual harmony and innovative achievement. Elements included:

* The site was developed at less than 40 percent of the allowed density.
* An on-site arborist developed a tree protection plan.
* At-risk trees were replaced and new indigenous trees and shrubs were planted.
* Trees were retained and planted adjacent to the building to provide shade in the summer and insulation in the winter.
* State-of-the-art, high-efficiency electrical and mechanical systems were installed.
* Windows with thermally insulated glazing were installed, and angled sunscreens were installed to provide solar shading.
* Nine hundred trees were added, including dogwood, magnolia and oak.
* A jogging/walking trail was installed through the naturally wooded area.
* Erosion was controlled during construction.
* An on-site natural creek was preserved and storm water was filtered.
* The offices were carefully structured over a ravine and waterfall.
* On-site well water is used for landscape irrigation.

UPS has won several awards for these efforts, including:

* Backyard Wildlife Habitat Certificate of Exceptional Merit Award from the National Wildlife Federation and its Georgia chapter for creation of a wildlife sanctuary.
* National Environmental Designation, American Forests and the National Association of Home Builders, for tree preservation.
* Environmental Change Team Award, North Fulton/Sandy Springs Clean & Beautiful Committee, for preservation of natural surroundings.
* Environmental Award in the Special Industry Contribution, Metro Atlanta Landscape & Turf Association (MALTA), for its Tree Save Program during
construction


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