Glass building setting green standard Ridge’s new glass HQ a leader in earth-friendly design

Snoqualmie Business Park’s $23 million ‘green’ Technical Glass Products building, now about half complete, impressed the dozen Valley business owners and civil servants who toured it on Monday, April 28.

On a tour of the half-complete Technical Glass building in Snoqualmie Business Park

Snoqualmie Business Park’s $23 million ‘green’ Technical Glass Products building, now about half complete, impressed the dozen Valley business owners and civil servants who toured it on Monday, April 28.

“It really is an amazing facility. They’re very forward-thinking,” said Carmichael’s True Value hardware store owner Wendy Thomas, who joined the tour because, as a construction industry veteran, she likes to check out high-end projects.

The facility’s contractor, Opus Northwest, L.L.C., is building under guidelines established by the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System, a voluntary standard to support and certify green building design, construction and operations.

According to its Web site, LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Opus is the architect, builder and owner of the 130,000 square-foot building until it is complete and turned over in September to Technical Glass Products, a commercial glass company currently based in Kirkland. The build-to-suit project contract is currently at $23 million, said Opus project manager Ryan Healy, who led the tour.

The building, with big windows that let in natural light and afford stunning views of Mount Si, will house the company’s administration, sales and manufacturing operations.

Snoqualmie Ridge was a draw for the company, not only for its beauty, but also for its compatibility with sustainable practices. The business park’s proximity to homes, retail shopping and public transportation contribute to the building achieving LEED certification. Other green features include carpeting made from recycled materials, wood floors and cabinetry reclaimed from Asian mines, and wheat fiber building boards. The building’s paint emits reduced amounts of environment-damaging volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are up to LEED standards. Ninety-five percent of construction materials will be recycled, Healy said. Building green meant a 10 to 15 percent price increase over what it would have cost had it not been up to LEED code. The investment was worth it for TGP’s owners, Healy said.

“They’re looking at it as a long-term beauty they can be proud of,” he added. All the building’s glass will be manufactured and installed by TGP.

“It’s kind of a showcase for them,” Healy said

About 91 TGP employees will move into the building in September. The company expects to double its number of employees within the next decade, Healy said.

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