On August 26, 2014 I attended the Going Green Tour at 2610 Orchard Parkway, San Jose, CA. The whole building was designed to be sustainable and green. There is a growing trend in the United States to be greener.
Going green goes beyond the actual materials but also the functionality of a structure. One interesting fact about the Orchard building is that the elevators use vegetable oil instead of regular oil. Additionally, the building regulates the use of lighting in an environmentally friendly way.
Generally, asphalt per se uses recycled materials and can be paved to be greener. For example, asphalt can regulate the water flow of rain away or into a natural body of water. Porous asphalt, although not commonly used, has great water dissipating abilities. If designed properly, asphalt can control the flow of contaminated rain water away from natural bodies of water.
Essentially, being “green” requires a little bit of creativity and time. The Orchard building is a work of green art.
Alaniz Construction, Inc. is a member of BOMA SV.
Pictures Courtesy of Kent Goetz Account Manager of Performance Air Service