A Prototype for a Zero Carbon Emissions Office Building in St. Louis, MO.

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Zero Carbon Emissions Office Building Prototype

Location: St. Louis, Missouri  |  Size: 170,735 sq. ft.  |  Design Completion: 2010 

An integrated design team led by HOK and energy and daylighting consultant The Weidt Group undertook a 10-month virtual design charrette to create a market-rate, zero-emissions design for a class A commercial office building in St. Louis. The team used the U.S. Department of Energy’s definition of a zero emissions building: “A building that produces and exports at least as much emissions-free renewable energy as it imports and uses from emission-producing energy sources annually.”

Specific design goals for Net Zero Co2urt included: 

  • 150,00-200,000-sq.-ft. multi-tenant office building
  • Affordable (10-year payback)
  • Marketable
  • Designed based on today’s technology, materials, systems and codes
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • Sustainable
  • Use ‘Life’s Principles’ to inform design
  • Compare to base case LEED-NC Certified building of similar size
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Energy Usage Projections

Based on modeling, the building’s design energy use intensity is 21.9 KTBUs/SF per year before renewable energy is considered.

Annual energy cost savings through the building’s energy efficiency, solar thermal and photovoltaic system are $184,567, leaving an annual energy cost of $2,418, or 1 cent per square foot at current utility rates.