The CTA Billings Office is an adaptive reuse of a 1921 Marshall Wells warehouse, originally used to store hardware, paints, saddlery mining supplies and railroad supplies. CTA decided to re-locate their headquarters to the central downtown location, contributing to an urban revitalization effort. They found that they could conserve resources and preserve a piece of history by renovating the existing brick building. The renovation of the building was completed in 2004.
The building design follows a simple industrial aesthetic, revealing the character of the original warehouse as well as exposing the building electrical and mechanical systems. One can think of the building as a metaphor for a set of blueprints, everything is visible including steel fabrication marks, mechanical labels, and electrical raceways.
In the spring of 2008 CTA made the decision to certify the Billings office under the LEED EB O&M rating system. This decision was made as part of CTA’s “Vision 2013” sustainability goals; CTA wanted to walk the talk to show their clients and the community their commitment to sustainability. As a multidisciplinary design firm and USGBC member with many LEED APs on staff, CTA worked internally drawing upon employees’ experience and expertise to implement and document green operations and maintenance activities. CTA is committed to being a good steward of natural resources and the Billings Office is a manifestation of that commitment.
Living LabCTA intends for the Billings office building to be a working laboratory where new approaches and products can be experimented with so they can better advise their clients and better understand how to implement sustainable design strategies. CTA is also strives to understand and improve sustainable business and operational practices. The company has demonstrated this commitment by participating in the Yellowstone Business Partnership’s UnCommon Sense Program, a regional intensive peer-reviewed curriculum that promotes green practices in businesses across MT, ID, and WY. By continuing to employ new strategies within the building and its systems along with operations and procedures, CTA continues to find ways to reduce their ecological footprint.
Strategies & Results
- Low-flow aerators for lavatories and low-flow / dual flush valves on toilets resulted in a 40% reduction in building water use
- Weather station and high efficiency roto-sprinkler heads resulted in a 50% reduction in potable water use for irrigation
- Employee alternative commuting plan and incentive program resulted in a 10% reduction in solo commuting by encouraging bus riding, carpooling, and biking.
- Efficient heating and cooling system, and lighting control strategies resulted in an Energy Star rating of 82.
- Retro-commissioning was performed to ensure equipment is and will continue to operate efficiently; an annual equipment maintenance program was established.
- Renewable energy certificates were purchased to offset 100% of the project’s energy use, a total of 495,021 kwh/yr. CTA additionally purchased certificates to offset a 100% electrical usage for all other fourteen office locations.
- Sustainable purchasing policies were written and adopted, resulting in ongoing changes to purchased office products including recycled content paper and energy star rated computer equipment.
- A green cleaning program and contract were implemented, and have resulted in the use of green seal certified cleaning products and recycled content paper products being used within the building.
- A building wide recycling program was established with bins crafted from recycled materials on each of four floors. The office also recycles toner cartridges, old computer components, and fluorescent bulbs.