Release date: 2009-06-02

KSS Architects Designs Sustainable Headquarters and Distribution Center for Empire Merchants North

(Newswire Today) —  Princeton, NJ, United States, 2009-06-02 - KSS Architects is designing a new 250,000 square-feet corporate headquarters and distribution center for Empire Merchants North in Coxsackie, N.Y. Upon completion, the $27.5 million project will strive to achieve LEED certification from USGBC.


KSS Architects is designing a new 250,000 square-feet corporate headquarters and distribution center for Empire Merchants North in the town of Coxsackie in Greene County, N.Y. Upon completion, the $27.5 million project will strive to achieve LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Edmund Klimek, AIA, partner at KSS Architects, said the project represents a growing trend in the commercial real estate market.

“This project works to be green in every respect,” Klimek said. “We designed the building to be environmentally sensitive and worked closely with Greene County representatives to create an architecture that fits well with its environment, using stonework and material that is found locally. Similarly, Empire Merchants North is applying sustainable principles to their logistics systems by incorporating equipment such as energy-efficient conveyers and motors.”

Empire Merchants North, one of New York’s largest distributors of wine and distilled beverages, wanted to build a state-of-the-art corporate headquarters and distribution center in upstate New York to improve accessibility and distribution logistics. In Coxsackie they identified a 21-acre site in Kalkberg Commerce Park, which was developed by Greene Industrial Development Agency in partnership with Sen. James Seward and several state, local and community organizations.

Working on an aggressive schedule, KSS Architects teamed with design-build firm BBL Construction Services, based in Albany, N.Y., to plan and design the project. The project team secured approvals from the township planning board in less than two months. When complete, the 250,000 square-foot-facility will have 35,000 sf of office space and 220,000 sf warehouse space. The site will also accommodate a potential 130,000 sf warehouse expansion.

The building’s sustainable features include construction materials with a high percentage of recycled content, such as steel and concrete, and materials that are manufactured regionally, meaning within a 500-mile radius of the project. Compared to a conventional facility of equivalent size and use, the building will use 25 percent less energy due to energy-efficient design features such as increased building insulation. Highly efficient toilet fixtures will save an estimated 140,000 gallons of potable water per year. The site landscaping will further reduce water usage because it requires no irrigation beyond rainwater.

The building will have a white roof to minimize heat island effect. Empire has also decided to reinforce the roof structure to allow for the potential installation of solar panels in the future. Hybrid vehicles and carpools will be given preferred parking spaces to encourage fuel-efficient transportation practices.

The facility’s operational components also feature an energy efficient conveyor system, a logistics program to reduce trucking fuel consumption, highly efficient battery charging stations for warehouse equipment and the elimination of any truck idling at the loading docks.

KSS is supervising the project’s LEED registration and submission processes. To be recognized as LEED Certified, the project must demonstrate it meets a certain number of sustainable design requirements specified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Klimek said the team designed the industrial facility specifically for Empire Merchants. “It meets their needs, expresses the high quality of their company, and will create a great place to work,” he said.

Empire Merchants North corporate headquarters and distribution center broke ground in March. Construction is expected to finish in Dec. 2009. The new facility will consolidate existing facilities in Colonie and Kingston, N.Y. Empire Merchants has said it intends to offer employment to its current workers at the new location.


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