Savannah East, a seven-story office building completed in 2016, is the first structure in Trinidad and Tobago certified for its eco-friendly features by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
The building, for which WSP USA was responsible for the architecture, mechanical/electrical/plumbing (MEP) engineering design, energy modeling services and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) advisory services, was certified LEED Silver by USGBC on March 3.
When work on the 78,000-square-foot building began in 2013, the client, real estate developer RGM Ltd., set a goal of developing a building that would set new standards in green design and construction for the Caribbean island nation.
“From the start, RGM was determined to achieve LEED Silver certification, championing a new building culture that would promote and prioritize sustainable and environmentally favorable building technologies, from design, to construction, to use,” said Martyn Joab, principal architect for the project.
Partnering with WSP gave RGM a firm with extensive experience on LEED-certified projects in the Western Hemisphere.
The WSP team included Renate Allum and Ronell Joseph, architects. Randy Ragbir, Stefan Gayle, Vanessa Griffith and Allan Nanton were responsible for MEP design. Martin Sing of the Ottawa office provided LEED consulting services. Elizabeth Inglefield, project manager acted as the client liaison and coordinator between WSP (Caribbean) and WSP Canada (Ottawa).
Allum said the biggest challenge the team overcame during construction of the $15 million building was management of the client-driven design changes, while still meeting the project’s “fast track” construction schedule and environmental goals.
“The WSP team sought to create a building system and environment that was efficient, responsible, healthy and promoted user well-being,” Joseph added. “Regular meetings were held with the design team, general contractors and other stakeholders to ensure that everyone was on board and on track to meet the LEED goal.”