V.I. architects' digs get national attention

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Springline Architects' new building in Smith Bay has been certified as a LEED Platinum-rated building, which the company said is the first such certification in the territory.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The LEED rating system was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council as a way to evaluate buildings and homes for their environmentally friendly designs and features.

The LEED Platinum certification is awarded to buildings meeting the highest level of environmental and health conscious standards.

Springline Architects was the first architectural firm in the territory to become LEED certified, and now the company has a building to show off the LEED principles.

In his letter of recognition, Rick Fedrizzi, president, chief executive officer and founding chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council said: "The work of innovative building projects such as Springline Architects' office building is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement."

The 3,000-square-foot, two-story workspace has north-facing, floor-to-ceiling, impact-resistant windows that provide such significant day lighting that there is rarely the need to turn on a light, according to Springline partner Tracy Roberts.

Solar panels and insulating materials have resulted in 40 percent less energy consumption than a comparable office building, according to Springline.

The building was designed with sustainable materials, obtained locally when possible, Roberts said.

Gov. John deJongh Jr. congratulated the three Springline Architects partners, Michael de Haas, Kevin Philip Qualls and Roberts.

"They are definitely leading by example," deJongh said. "I was present for the groundbreaking of the new building in October of 2011, and it is wonderful that the project has been completed so successfully and received such national attention. I hope that other builders in the territory will consider developing their projects with LEED certification in mind."

The building is getting international attention already. It won the 2013 International Properties Award for Best Office Building in the Virgin Islands and made the cover of Architectural Digest.

The office building is located on the east end of St. Thomas, between Sapphire Beach and Pavilions and Pools. Springline Architects welcome anyone to visit the new building.

For more information, call 777-2345 or go to www.springlinearchitects.com.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email alewin@dailynews.vi.

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