Jefferson Green Office Building

This three-story, 85,000 square foot LEED Gold-certified office building in Albuquerque was designed to use 30% less water and 45% less energy than a typical local office building. A number of features contribute to the energy savings. The exterior design combines a thick stucco wall perforated by deeply recessed window with a sleek curtain wall system. Glazing and shading strategies vary according to the orientation of each façade. A reflective, high-emissivity roof membrane helps to reduce the cooling load. The direct-indirect evaporative cooling system is energy efficient and provides an option for "free" cooling using outside air. Use of an underfloor air distribution system saves energy, allows for individual occupant control and provides flexibility for future layout changes. Operable windows provide additional individual control and fresh air. Interior light fixtures use efficient T-5 fluorescent tubes to supplement the daylight from the windows.

Water savings result from use of low-flow showers and urinals, automatic faucet sensors in restrooms, and flow restrictors on faucets. The site was designed to maintain the existing mature pine and cottonwood trees to the south of the building, and direct run off to the planted areas to promote natural water harvesting and reduce irrigation requirements. The new landscaping throughout the site is designed to use less water than a conventional landscape, and all landscape irrigation is provided by the city's industrial wastewater line to conserve the city's supply of potable water.

The building has met or exceeded expectations for both performance and comfort. Jefferson Green received ENERGY STAR designation based on actual performance using utility bill data from the first 18 months of occupancy. Jefferson Green's rating of 99 places it in the top 1% of office buildings in the nation for energy efficiency. The ENERGY STAR analysis shows that the building is saving 6.3 billion Btus of energy and 858 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year compared to an average office building of its size.

Jefferson Green achieved LEED Gold certification under LEED-CS in March 2007 and LEED-CI in June 2007, exceeding the goal of LEED Silver. This gives Jefferson Green the rare distinction of being one of very few double LEED Gold buildings in the world.

The design team and owner estimated that the building's sustainable features added about 5% to the first cost of the project, but the extra first cost is expected to pay back in about 5 years through the energy and water savings. Annual gas and electric utility costs have averaged $0.70/sf, dramatically lower than the typical energy cost of about $2.00/sf for office buildings.


  • Building Size: 85,000 sq ft
  • Expected payback period: 5 years
  • Energy Savings: Approximately 45% relative to mandatory energy code
  • Project Team:
    Developer - R. Davis Co.
    Architect - Dekker/Perich/Sabatini
    Construction - Enterprise Builders