Urban Land Interests is wholly committed to sustainability. Our primary ethic is the adaptive reuse of existing buildings and in focusing solely on urban infill development. Through its work in adaptive reuse, the company has converted acres of urban land from concrete and asphalt to natural landscape, while at the same time creating more intensive use of existing space, strengthening the tax base and the urban fabric.
ULI was the first in Madison to use a geothermal heating system for an apartment project, the first to use heat pumps in office buildings, and in 1999 delivered the first roof top gardens on the Capitol Square at Block 89. We are most proud of our work to reestablish U.S. Bank Plaza as the premier building on the Capitol Square. After a 3 year renovation, U.S. Bank Plaza is the first existing building in Dane County to be retro-fitted to LEED Gold standards.
The U.S. Bank Plaza Renovation
U.S. Bank Plaza was possibly the most notorious consumer of energy of any office building in Wisconsin. The renovation of U.S. Bank Plaza (both the office/retail building and the parking that serves it) reverses a downward slide caused by decades of reluctance to make capital investments. As part of this complete renovation, ULI's team has cut energy usage by 38% and water usage by 85%, from 32 million gallons of water used in 2007 to 3.9 million gallons used in 2011. This environmental sea change required financial investment, dedication of the ULI team, cooperation from our community of tenants and a company that is truly committed to the values it advertises.
Exterior Modifications Originally designed to capture views of the Capitol Square and to bring the outside environment into the building, the sloping 3-story atriums created major heat build-up. The glass originally used in the building curtain wall was clear thermo pane glass that had no solar shading and little insulating value. The atriums used a single pane of polished plate glass.
The glass choices and design of the building created a condition where the solar heat gain and ambient solar condition was so problematic that the building could not deliver an interior office environment acceptable to its tenants. The transparency originally envisioned for the atriums became obscured by films and shades that had been installed on the sloped glass in an unsuccessful attempt to reduce glare and heat gain. As part of the exterior modifications, the sloping atriums have been removed. With the addition of glass with high shading coefficient on the southern facades, the building now takes advantage of natural day lighting without experiencing the same solar heat gain.
Operation & Maintenance The HVAC systems did not produce tenant comfort in spite of the enormous consumption of energy. Since its purchase of U.S. Bank Plaza in 2008, ULI's team and Environmental Systems Design, Inc., have been on a mission to conserve energy in this 1973 building. ULI has:
- Reduced the number of public elevators from 7 to 4.
- Replaced the cooling towers with high efficiency equipment.
- Replaced the chillers with high efficiency units.
- Replaced all perimeter induction units.
- Converted the interior zones from a constant volume system to a variable air volume system.
- Removed the sloping 3-story atriums, replacing them with rectilinear atriums with flat insulated roofs and glass with high shading coefficient.
- Reduced the run time for the garage exhaust fan.
- Installed a new building HVAC automation system with DDC controls.
- Implementation of green cleaning procedures.