Ecology Action in the News
Ecology Action, Cruzio earn gold rating for green remodel downtown
By JONDI GUMZ - Santa Cruz Sentinel
Posted: 07/21/2012 06:27:17 PM PDT
SANTA CRUZ - A green remodel of the former Sentinel newspaper office downtown has won Leadership in Environmental and Engineering Design gold certification for co-owners Ecology Action and Cruzio.
It is the third privately owned project in the county in the past nine months to earn gold. That is the second highest certification in the program established by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The makeover at 877 Cedar St. cost more than $6 million and was done in phases by Barry Swenson Builder. The two-story building, constructed in 1966, has 42,000 square feet above ground and a basement with 11,000 square feet where the press was located.
The Sentinel moved out in October 2007 when Fowler Property Acquisitions became the owner near the peak of the market. When the real estate boom went bust, the building sat empty, then put up for auction. It was sold for $4 million to Cruzio, a local Internet provider, Ecology Action, a local nonprofit, and local developer Joe Appenrodt.
The new owners opted to preserve the building, including the signature rock façade, which reduced the amount of construction waste and saved money.
"As leaders in energy efficiency working for the small- and medium-sized business sector in California, we're incredibly proud to call this green building our home," said Jim Murphy, Ecology Action's interim chief. "The transformation of the building from its prior use required vision, discipline and great partners."
The partners included Thacher & Thompson Architects and Strategic Construction Management.
Among the green features are expansive glass doors and windows and 42 skylights providing natural light, energy efficient lighting, a rooftop solar system that provides hot water and about half the electricity, restrooms with waterless urinals, dual-flush toilers and low-flow faucets, a charging station for seven electric vehicles, on-site composing and a system to catch rain water to irrigate landscaping.
"Now that the building has been fully operational for over a year, it's clear that hard work has paid off in the form of much lower energy use and a great working environment for employees and clients," said Murphy.
Nordic Naturals headquarters and warehouse in Watsonville and the Community Foundation Satna Cruz County philanthropy center in Aptos, both new construction, earned gold last year.
Before that, Santa Cruz County Bank earned gold for a remodel on Front Street.
UC Santa Cruz earned gold for the Cowell Student Health Center and for a Porter College dormitory, according to the Green Building Council's Monterey Bay chapter.
Follow Sentinel reporter Jondi Gumz on Twitter: @jondigumz
Phone: 831.426.5925 ext. 120