It's Earth Day every day in new building and farm at SAS

Several years ago, SAS led the way in sustainable practice by establishing a five-acre solar farm, soon followed by the seven-acre expansion. Last month, the company opened a new building designed and built to U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards (LEED is the nationally recognized benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings). Now, SAS is also establishing a one-acre culinary farm in Cary at the SAS world headquarters.

The new building, called building C, houses an Executive Briefing Center, an office tower for employees, a gourmet market-concept food court and a coffee shop serving Starbucks coffee.

Maggie Lawrence plants vegetables at the culinary farm.

Some of the building's sustainable features include:

  • Woodworking throughout the building from trees that were cleared from the original building site.
  • A nearly 1-acre “green roof” to help minimize stormwater runoff and insulate the building.
  • 20,000 gallon cisterns that collect rainwater for use in bathrooms.
  • Reserved eco-commuter parking spaces with 10 set aside for future use as electric car-charging stations.
  • A 655,000-gallon storm water retention pond.
  • Natural light throughout the building's meeting rooms and offices.

Many of the building's features will also contribute to the fabled triple bottom line that benefits people, planet and profit. Pete Flood, a Construction Project Manager for Building C says, "The team was really excited about being empowered to make this a green building. We did ROI reviews for all of the green features and were pleasantly surprised by the results."

Employees at SAS are also excited about the new culinary farm, which will cultivate produce for use in the SAS cafeterias and at The Umstead Hotel and Spa. The farm will be tended using organic practices by the SAS landscaping team, which includes a culinary farmer. The team will coordinate with chefs at both locations to select the crops grown on the farm.

“Agriculture plays a vital role in our society,” says Culinary Farmer Maggie Lawrence. “As a farmer, it’s important to provide sustainable food to the community. I’m excited about working with SAS because I am able to grow food directly for the consumer while also aiding in the educational aspects of sustainable agriculture.”

Watch the video below for more information about Building C's innovative design methods that reduce environmental impact, or take a photo tour of Building C on the WRAL techwire site.

Photo Credit: Cynthia Duke, SAS Corporate Services

tags: sustainability

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