GE's Renewable Energy Division now housed in renovated 1909 factory

An entry in this year's WAN Awards: the 100 year-old building transformed into green office space for GE's Renewable Energy Division.
Written by Beth Carter, Contributing Editor

Recently, General Electric has taken to renewable energy in a big way. Last April, the company was said to have already invested over $600 million into the industry, and have recently announced plans for a giant solar-manufacturing plant and have agreed to supply 70MW of wind turbines to areas in France.

So, it would only be right if the offices for their renewable energy division were to be housed in a restored, green building, right?

Right. GE hired acclaimed green architecture firm EYP Architecture and Engineering to renovate its 100-year old production facility in Schenectady, New York into a sleek, green, state-of-the-art office building.

The 1909 building update has been entered into the 2011 World Architecture News (WAN) Awards for its design.

The exterior was re-cased to "redefine the architectural character" of the building, "setting an energy-efficient and sustainably inspired technical aesthetic against the background of neighboring utilitarian facilities," reads the entry.

One of the main attractions of the new building is what the architects call the "sunshade blade," resembling a wind turbine is featured in the main atrium. The atrium is also home to a global wind monitoring center to highlight GE's wind-energy presence.

Windows were more than doubled in size, aided by telescoping ceilings to introduce natural light into over 75 percent of the office-areas.

The project is certified LEED Silver, as a result of high-efficiency mechanical and electrical systems that were integrated into the building, reducing the energy use by 25 percent in a comparison with "benchmarked" facilities.

[Via Treehugger, WAN 2011]
Photos: WAN

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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