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Green Building & Sustainable Development

Florida's Largest "Green" Building Set to Become Next Rockefeller Center

Miami's Foram Group has announced plans to develop Brickell Financial Centre, a two-tower office and hotel landmark of 1 1/2 million square feet. The property is South Florida's first LEED-precertified commercial office building at the solid silver level.

The area's first major office project since 2000, Brickell Financial Centre will unfold in two phases with groundbreaking set for April 2007. The $245 million first phase (completion fall 2009) will consist of 600,000 square feet in a 40-story tower - the first floor for lobby and retail space and the second 11 for parking, topped by 28 floors of class-A office space. The second tower, rising 68 stories, will include retail and office space, and a 300-room hotel.

The 30,000-square-foot plaza (two-thirds the size of a football field) fronts Brickell Avenue, and is designed with grand proportions and social programming comparable to New York City's Rockefeller Center. Ground floor retail and restaurants will encourage public usage. According to the project's lead architect, Rod Henderer of Washington, DC's RTKL, "Brickell Financial Centre will bring significant value to Miami with its vital urban space that will be a magnet for people." RTKL also is responsible for the design of Miami's Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Brickell Financial Centre's core and shell are LEED precertified at the silver level, meaning the site development, design, resources and materials incorporate systems for sustainability and energy- and water-efficiency that comply with criteria developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Brenda V. Morawa, a registered mechanical engineer and sustainability professional, worked as technical advisor with RTKL and Foram to meet the LEED precertification requirements.

Loretta H. Cockrum is Chairman and CEO of Foram Group, a company committed to green building practices. Foram Group is also developing one of the first green luxury apartment projects in the US, "The Bartram" in Gainesville, Florida. "We expect these buildings to attract the kinds of people who share our green building values."

Tenants of "green" buildings benefit from lower operating costs, a result of energy efficiency, and improved employee well-being, a function of natural light and better air quality. Brickell Financial Centre's architects and engineers have designed the windows to withstand heavy wind loads, while diesel generators will ensure continued operation in weather-caused power outages.

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