Insurance provider The Phoenix Co.’s One American Row building in Hartford, Conn., recently achieved LEED for Existing Buildings Silver certification from the USGBC. According to the company, this is only the second building in Connecticut to receive certification and is the first building in New England to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places and be LEED-EB certified. The late Max Abramovitz of New York architecture firm Harrison & Abramovitz designed the structure when it was built in 1963.
Locally known as the “boat building,” the 454,000-square-foot, 13-story tower boasts a Modernist architectural style with its unique form and two-sided lenticular plan. The pointed ends face east and west and the flat sides face north and south. Its axis is 225 feet long and it reaches 87 feet at its maximum width. It was added to the National Register of Historic places in 2005. The program, managed by the National Park Service, is the nation’s official list of historical resources worthy of preservation.
An retrofitting project began in 2004 and existing lighting systems were upgraded to more efficient T-8s. They also were wired so the lighting can be controlled by the energy management system. The original air distribution system was a high-pressure, dual-duct design and was replaced by a single cold-deck, variable-volume system with electronic VAV terminal boxes. The tower system relies primarily on the exterior convector system for controlling interior climate conditions. The original single-loop system was ineffective because of the large southern exposure; it was replaced with a split-loop system that allows each side of heat or cool independently of the other. Cooling coils in the large fan systems were replaced and other cooling coils were cleaned.
All of the original fan motors were replaced with premium efficiency units and variable-speed drives were added to several systems. To reduce fan operating hours in the garage, the team installed a carbon monoxide ventilation control system. The current TAC building automation system was upgraded, fully commissioned, and all of the HVAC control strategies were revised. Other green features include high-performance window film and two 750-kilowatt emergency generators. The company received more than $160,000 in energy efficiency incentives from Connecticut’s Light and Power’s energy conservation program.
One American Row has an Energy Star rating of 89. For the LEED program, the building garnered 12 out of a possible 15 LEED points for optimizing energy efficiency performance, with the green cleaning category earning 7 out of a possible 9 points.