Clarke Garden White Paper

Written by: Marty Serena

 

Clarke is a global environmental products and services company. Clarke’s mission is to make communities around the world more livable, safe, and comfortable. They do this by pioneering, developing, and delivering environmentally responsible public health mosquito control and aquatic services to help prevent disease, control nuisances, and create healthy waterways.

 

Clarke’s sustainability journey began in 2008 when J. Lyell Clarke, the company’s president and CEO, invited the entire company to envision a more purpose-driven Clarke. That invitation was a catalyst for the company’s first set of sustainability goals and the formation of organizational processes and structure specifically

designed to embed sustainability into the company’s DNA.

 

In 2015, Clarke introduced their second set of sustainability goals. These new goals were designed to ensure continuous improvements in areas where they had already begun work and to focus on opportunities to have a greater impact beyond their internal operations. Clarke’s 2020 sustainability goals include:

 

• Carbon neutrality through a 25% emission reduction and carbon sequestration projects

• Source 10% of energy needs from on-site renewable energy production

• Reduce waste stream by 25%

• Recycle or re-purpose 90% of all operational waste

• Donate 1% of annual revenue from the sale of Next Generation products and services to environmental causes

• Donate an average of 10 hours of volunteer time per employee per year

 

The sustainability goals influence every aspect of their business — from product development to supply chain management, the vehicles they drive, the buildings they work in, and the design of their health and wellness programs. Since the beginning of their journey, they have published seven sustainability reports. Recent reports follow the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines ensuring adherence to international standards.

 

With such a comprehensive approach to sustainability, it has become embedded in the Clarke culture. Sustainability

has energized and empowered employees to develop programs and policies that improve operational efficiencies, clarify

brand and mission, foster greater innovation, and change the way that they engage with customers, the community, and business partners

The Flourishing Garden…..

 

In 2015 Clarke commissioned Serena Sturm Architects to develop the Clarke Garden Facility in Roselle within the context of their Sustainability Goals. From their beginning in 1983 Serena Sturm Architects has been committed to comprehensive sustainable design as a fundamental tenet of their architectural practice. Their goal in building design evolves around simple roots - creating buildings that are beautiful, comfortable, healthy, energy and resource efficient, functional and long lived. In doing so, their buildings promote both the well-being of their occupants and the earth. They recognize the importance and the significance of each project in the pursuit of their Clients mission and wholly appreciate the considerable effect it will have on present and future generations.

 

The Garden Facility, located on Garden Avenue in Roselle, is the site of Clarke’s largest field mosquito control and aquatic services operation, manufacturing teams, and their respective management and administrative staff and team members.

 

Opportunities of Thoughtful Design – the Clarke Flourishing Garden Project

 

Successful projects involve participation of the occupants in the planning stage all the way through to operation and maintenance. The Garden Journey began by assembling a diverse group of Clarke people and the design team for a design charrette that encouraged insight and creativity from all parties.

 

The Clarke team established an aspirational statement for their planned Flourishing Garden facility. 

 

The Garden truly embodies its name. It is a place where we work, learn, teach, grow and flourish in harmony with nature and the communities we serve. The Garden highlights our scientific capabilities through our state-of-the-art surveillance laboratory and is a collaborative environment that fosters engagement and creative energies across all teams. By deliberate design, we demonstrate our care for people and our planet, ensuring a minimal footprint that paves the way for future generations and growth.

 

The Clarke team established an aspirational statement for their planned Flourishing Garden facility. 

 

The Garden truly embodies its name. It is a place where we work, learn, teach, grow and flourish in harmony with nature and the communities we serve. The Garden highlights our scientific capabilities through our state-of-the-art surveillance laboratory and is a collaborative environment that fosters engagement and creative energies across all teams. By deliberate design, we demonstrate our care for people and our planet, ensuring a minimal footprint that paves the way for future generations and growth.

 

Clarke believes that there is clear evidence that for projects to help serve to meet their goals green buildings and regenerative site design bring multiple benefits. They provide some of the most effective means to achieving a range of their sustainability goals, such as addressing climate change, creating sustainable and thriving communities, and driving economic growth. Highlighting these benefits, and facilitating a growing evidence base for proving them, is at the heart of the Garden Project.

 

The benefits can be grouped within three categories: Environmental, Economic and Social.

 

Environmental

 

One of the most important types of benefit green buildings and their regenerative site designs offer is to our climate and the natural environment. Green buildings and their restored ecology can not only reduce or eliminate negative impacts on the environment, by using less water, energy or natural resources, but they can - in many cases - have a positive impact on the environment by generating their own energy, increasing biodiversity, creating greenspaces that can be enjoyed and serves a greater good and results in increased carbon sequestration/reduction in greenhouse gases.

 

Economic

 

Green buildings offer a number of economic or financial benefits, which are relevant to a range of different people or groups of people. These include cost savings on utility bills through energy and water efficiency; better value in construction costs and higher property value, increased occupancy rates by employees or lower operating costs for building owners; and new technology job creation.

 

Social

 

Green building benefits go beyond economics and the environment, and have been shown to bring positive social impacts as well. Many of these benefits are around the health and wellbeing of people who work in green offices or live in green homes.

 

What Makes the Flourishing Garden Facility a green building?

 

The Garden Facility is a building that, in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positive impacts, on our climate and natural environment. The Garden project preserves precious natural resources and improves the occupational work environment quality of life.

 

Features employed that the Garden Facility include:

 

            …. Efficient use of energy, water and other natural resources

            …. Use of renewable energy from nature, solar and geothermal energy and passive heating and cooling

            …. Pollution and waste reduction measures, and the enabling of re-use and recycling

            …. Good indoor environmental air quality

            …. Use of materials that are non-toxic, ethical and sustainable

            …. Consideration of the environment in design, construction and operation

            …. Consideration of the quality of life of occupants in design, construction and operation

            …. A design that enables adaptation to a changing environment

 

 

The Building Blocks

 

Our team worked together employing a comprehensive set of best practices to help design and construct efficient, healthy facilities which will benefit the community, the environment, and of course the bottom line.

 

Site planning and design

 

Thoughtful planning and design can have positive effects on energy, people and the ecology. Through careful planning and programming the project was able to minimize site impacts and maximize site opportunities by right sizing the physical footprint of our built area.  This led to a more compact building and parking lot layout allowing more generous green space for user delight and ecological improvement. The design of the site fits into the surrounding neighborhood to work with existing natural features to provide safe, fun and productive spaces. We were able reduce our energy consumption by taking advantage of nature’s free gifts of the sun and wind by positioning our building on the site in a South/North orientation [JR1] to receive abundant sun for free daylight and passive heating and wind for natural ventilation of the buildings. This project mandated limited site disruption during construction by protecting and caring for trees and soil conditions. The Landscape design championed replacement of turf grass for regenerative native landscape systems and ecology producing favorable micro climates for wildlife and people. These strategies all illustrate how the Clarke Garden building planning that creates a beautiful ecology and environment for its people as it helps fight climate change by sequestering carbon and reducing or eliminating storm water runoff that plagues rivers and streams.

 

Indoor Air Quality

 

Indoor air quality significantly impacts occupant health and comfort which are essential goals for any building. Achieving a high quality indoor environment requires careful design, construction, and materials choices, and thus was a strong consideration among the building team. The Indoor air quality strategies employed at Garden centered on well-designed ventilation and moisture control, which goes hand in hand with energy efficiency and building durability. At the Garden Facility the design team employed the use of a natural ventilation strategy that allows the building to open up when outdoor temperature and humidity levels are right and encourages air flow through the building by strategically placing operable windows that work with wind, temperature and pressure differentials in the building to provide fresh air and free cooling. In addition, the design employed a “green wall” (wall of plants) that as they convert exhaled CO2 air to oxygen  allowing for the heating and cooling systems to reuse tempered air rather bringing in untempered outside air which requires energy to reheat or cool depending on the season.[JR2]  As an area ongoing improvement maintenance is important, of course, as is a commitment to finding alternatives to toxic cleaning materials and methods[JR3] .

 

Energy

 

Energy efficiency is a key component to Clarke’s 2015 Sustainability goals. For this project, Lyell Clarke, CEO requested that the design team develop a project “that produced more energy than it consumed” The key to designing a building that was not merely energy neutral (a challenge in itself) but one that produced more than it consumed required thoughtful choices from the beginning. As discussed, the concept began with the programming and rightsizing of the building at the start.  From there, SSA employed Building Energy Modeling software as a tool to evaluate alternative design strategies of building placement, use of geothermal systems to to take advantage of nature’s energy, earth berming to protect the building from harsh winter winds, sun and wind, and opportunities to manage the heating, lighting and cooling of the building by employing design strategies of passive heating and natural seasonal ventilation . The modeling showed how a high performance building envelope and superior insulation can allow for use of smaller, efficient HVAC systems, lighting, and appliances. Even with these strategies solidly in place, and the building performing well below the AIA Carbon Reduction metrics for 2016, at completion the building still requires energy to operate the systems. And, as the sun does not shine all day in all seasons equally, energy is still required from the grid. To compensate for this energy a robust Solar Energy system was[JR4]  employed, thus enabling the building to Clarke’s mandate to “produce more energy than it consumes” as measured over a 12 month period.

 

Materials and Waste

 

Materials that minimize or eliminate indoor air quality concerns, avoid toxins[JR5] , and greatly reduce waste are now widely available, often from local manufacturers. Recycled-content and pre-fabricated products reduce material use, cut costs, and often perform better than traditional alternatives. At the Garden Facility the construction team was able to make choices to reduce, and recycle construction and demolition waste which cut costs and improved building quality. The team designed for efficient use of local materials and for durability, which also helped to avoid waste. The design team identified and met or exceeded goals of waste management during construction by  diverting 75% of construction waste from the landfills and redirecting recyclable resources back to the manufacturing process, incorporating 12% recycled content materials thereby reducing impacts resulting from extraction and processing virgin materials and purchase of 33% of regional material supporting the use of indigenous resources and reducing environmental impacts resulting from transportation.   

 

Water

 

The Garden Team provided the platform for the conservation of finite freshwater resources and reduction of utility bills by installing water-efficient appliances and plumbing fixtures which reduced facility water consumption by 40%. To limit or, in this case, eliminate the need to use potable water on the site for natural irrigation the project employed a regenerative native landscaping strategy with indigenous drought-resistant plants and use of collected rainwater. To absorb more of the storm water on site (keeping it from the rivers and streams) the design team implemented a rain water collection concept through a building design that featured a “butterfly” roof form designed to capture rainwater, guiding it to a Cistern which slows down the collection of rainwater during a rain event and holds the rainwater so that it can be released over time to the developed raingardens.  

 

Commissioning

 

The Garden Facility employed a third party Commissioning Agent. The Commissioning agent gives advice during the design phase and follows through with testing during and after construction. As a result, the process of making sure that the building systems design and implementation are reviewed and work as designed. This process insures and optimizes efficiency, health, and comfort.

 

Community

 

Clarke has utilized their facilities to support and create strong communities by giving their neighbors and communities a resource for places to meet, establishing a sense of place and safety, and creating spaces for people.

 

Users Experience

 

The Garden Facility design is conceptualized and developed to harmonize with their surrounding environment, to erase the boundaries of the built and un-built. It intends to enhance the project’s use of daylighting to flood and open the floor plan with natural light; it give the occupants freedom to choose to open a window to let in fresh air and provide the opportunity to look out or walk out and be a part of thriving trees, beautiful landscapes and raised garden beds and to actively utilize outdoor space. This “Garden Project” is not just intended to lower utility bills and keep residents healthy--the project, the building, and the landscape is designed to inspire. Distinctive and attractive design gives users, and their neighbors a reason to take pride in a responsible development, to care for their homes, their community, and the environment. These values are the foundation of sustainability. By treating green design as an art, not just a science, we can elevate economic, aesthetic, community, and ecological values to serve future generations. 

 

The Garden truly embodies its name. It is a place where we work, learn, teach, grow and flourish in harmony with nature and the communities we serve. The Garden highlights our scientific capabilities through our state-of-the-art surveillance laboratory and is a collaborative environment that fosters engagement and creative energies across all teams. By deliberate design, we demonstrate our care for people and our planet, ensuring a minimal footprint that paves the way for future generations and growth.