Bert Bender was one of the founding members of the USGBC Florida Region's Keys Branch. He and a handful of Conch volunteer peers slowly grew awareness and programming for sustainable practices and buildings for Key West.
Bert's firm, Bender & Associates Architects, is the prime consultant of the A/E team for the Key West City Hall, which is an adaptive use of the Historic Glynn Archer School as City offices and Commission Chambers. The exterior shell is being restored to its historic 1926 appearance, and a new steel and concrete structure has been installed within the shell. The interior was removed piece by piece in order to maximize reuse of building materials, with over 95% diversion from the waste stream. A large portion of the historic heart pine was milled for reuse in the building. The reclamation effort was extensive and even included collecting sawdust for use at the City Police department horse stables! Energy modeling was used extensively in order to maximize energy efficiency. Solar arrays were designed as carport structures, and two historic cisterns totaling 52,000 gallons were restored for use as irrigation water.
The 37,000 square foot building, currently tracking LEED Platinum, is scheduled for completion in September 2016, with full occupancy scheduled for October. In addition to Bender & Associates Architects, the LEED team members are MC Harry Associates, TLC Engineering for energy modeling and commissioning, and HNGS Engineers for MEP design.
Below: Images of the LEED-tracking Keys projects ...