Building Spotlight – 700 Sixth Street

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700 Sixth Street is a "Smart", "Green" building offering the following environmentally sensitive, energy-efficient and technologically advanced features:

Location

700 Sixth Street is well-located in a dense, mixed-use neighborhood with easy access to public transit, housing and retail. The parking facility also provides preferred parking spaces for alternative fuel – hybrid or electric – cars and car sharing vehicles for a total of 10 percent of the parking capacity.

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Green Roof

700 Sixth Street has the largest green roof on a private sector building in Washington. Green or vegetated roofs capture storm water and allow it to be released back into the atmosphere through evaporation rather than directing it to the municipal water treatment system. This is especially important in DC where a combined sewer system means storm water and sanitary pipes are connected. Because DC is so dense and many surfaces are impervious (water cannot drain directly into the ground), when it rains the overflow often washes sewage into our local waterways, like Rock Creek and the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. By providing a green roof, 700 Sixth Street does its part to keep this from happening.

Green roofs also help filter out dirt and debris from storm water before it runs into our storm water collection system, keeping pollutants out of local waterways. Although dirt entering a river may seem harmless, it actually can accumulate over time, changing the shape and depth of the body of water. In addition, the debris can cloud the water, preventing sunlight from penetrating below the surface. This can be detrimental to aquatic plant life and eventually to those species that feed on plant life. Green roofs work very hard to protect our local waterways!

Green roofs also help deflect heat from the sun, reducing the urban heat island effect. This effect is caused by densely built areas where asphalt, concrete, granite and other building and surface paving materials absorb heat from the sun. Densely built urban areas are often up to 15 degrees hotter than their outlying suburban neighbors because of the abundance of these materials and minimal vegetation. The vegetation on the roof helps keep the ambient temperature cooler through evaporation.

In addition to holding storm water and keeping things cool, green roofs also provides open space and access to native and adaptive plant species to help support biodiversity in the area.

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Water Efficiency

Water conservation efforts include design innovation in irrigation, and water conservation fixtures.

Energy & Atmosphere

Energy efficiency was achieved through the building envelope (enclosure) design as well as the mechanical and lighting systems.700 Sixth Street uses no CFCs or HCFCs, thereby preventing ozone depletion.

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Materials and Resources

The construction of 700 Sixth Street resulted in reduced landfill waste and energy consumption.

Indoor Environmental Quality

In order to make sure that 700 Sixth Street always provides a high level of air quality, regularly occupied spaces are supplied with 30 percent more outdoor air than required. In addition, building materials such as paints, adhesives, carpet and wood products were specified to be low-VOC in order to prevent damaging chemicals from contaminated the indoor air.