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Cover Story - November 2008

LEEDing Wall Street

Thornburg Builds Green Corporate Campus in Santa Fe

Attempting a daring combination of green smarts and Wall Street savvy, crews are nearing completion of the new $45 million Thornburg Campus in Santa Fe.

By Johnny Rehders, LEED AP

The 115,000-sq-ft corporate headquarters for Thornburg Co. will provide occupants with dramatic mountain views and three roof gardens to help reduce the heat island effect.
The 115,000-sq-ft Thornburg Campus will provide occupants with dramatic mountain views and three roof gardens to help reduce the heat island effect.

Nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Thornburg’s new corporate campus headquarters is on track to receive LEED gold certification.

Located in Santa Fe, the $45 million Thornburg Campus will be occupied by Thornburg Investment Management and Thornburg Mortgage, two separate and independent firms. Thornburg Resources Team provides administrative services of accounting, corporate communications, facilities management and human resources to both firms.

The project is being built on city land and is being financed by a 30-year industrial revenue bond with tax incentives provided by the city.

“We were very fortunate to get the city to approve the bonds,” says Brett Frauenglass, project architect with Albuquerque-based Dekker/Perich/Sabatini. “There were significant delays in the approval process, and even some attempts by neighbors to stop the project.”

The architects, with also included renowned Mexico City firm Legorreta and Legorreta, worked together closely with Albuquerque-based general contractor Klinger Constructors as an integrated design-build team.


“Before LEED was even a consideration, the owner wanted to have a sustainable, healthy, high performance and socially responsible building,” says DPS’s director of sustainable projects Julie Walleisa, LEED AP. “The integrated design approach allowed all parties involved to set goals early on and find a balance between performance, aesthetics and budget.”

The 115,000-sq-ft edifice broke ground in June 2007 and “has an expected completion date of mid-January 2009,” says Klinger’s project manager Adam Leyba.

The hillside site is located in an affluent area northwest of the downtown and offers dramatic views from 90% of the building.

“The site was both a challenge and an opportunity,” Frauenglass says. “The architecture takes advantage of the view with generous outdoor spaces and roof gardens, as well as a major effort to control daylight without resorting to window shades.”

Solatube skylights and large operable window areas will provide natural daylight to over 75% of building occupants.Daylight sensors will turn the lighting systems off when sufficient daylighting illumination is reached.

"The shading was designed using computer simulations for precise control," Walleisa says, which helped seamlessly integrate it into the overall building design. "South facing windows are protected by deep overhangs, while east and west facing windows have angled vertical fins."

Three roof gardens and pervious roof tiles will help control storm water runoff, and heat island effect. A 50,000-gallon underground rainwater catchment system handles the remaining roof runoff, and will be used for the native drought tolerant landscaping.

The building contains 10% recycled content, and over 20% of materials came from within a 500-mi radius. Photo by Johnny Rehders
The building contains 10% recycled content, and over 20% of materials came from within a 500-mi radius. Photo by Johnny Rehders

Another tactic to reduce heat island effect is a terraced parking area usinga gravel pave system of recycled plastic grates covered in Santa Fe brown gravel. “This not only reduces heat island effect, it also reduces storm water runoff, and recharges the local aquifer,” Frauenglass says.

Mechanical systems will run on 100% outside air, and all windows will have under-floor radiators to offset fenestration-based heat loss. Building occupants will have individual temperature control, thanks to a raised floor system and in-floor diffusers under each workstation.

“Using a raised floor system adds about 5% to 6% in first costs, but the decrease in the amount of ductwork required throughout the building almost evens out the cost,” Walleisa says.

The building’s energy model projects a 45% energy savings.

“The building has achieved EPA’s Energy Star designation with projected energy use at 41 KBTU per sq ft per year,” Walleisa says. “This makes the building eligible for New Mexico’s sustainable building tax credit.”

Related Links:
  • It’s Easy Bein’ Green After All
  • Solid Gold
  • Engel Hall Sets Gold Tone
  • Platinum Exhibit
  • LEEDing Forward
  • Water efficiency is important in Santa Fe’s high desert environment. The building will use over 40% less water than a baseline building of the same size and use, earning two LEED points in the water efficient category, and an additional innovation and design point for going beyond 40% water efficiency. Details include waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets and drought-tolerant landscaping with no potable water use.

    The building materials contain over 10% recycled content and over 20% come from within a 500 mi radius to help reduce carbon emissions due to material transport.

    “Over 78% of total construction waste has been diverted from going into landfills,” which earns the project points for construction waste management, Leyba says.

    Low-emitting paints, adhesives, carpet and Greenguard-certified furnishings contribute to improved indoor air quality.

    Key Players
    Owners: Thornburg Investment Management and Thornburg Mortgage
    Architect: Legorreta and Legorreta; Dekker/Perich/Sabatini
    General Contractor: Klinger Constructors
    Engineer: Bridgers & Paxton Consulting Engineers
    Electrical: Chapparal Electric
    Concrete/Steel: Klinger Constructors
    Framing: Peltier Framing
    Landscaping: Heads Up Landscaping
    Stucco: SW Lath and Plaster
    Masonry: Beaty Construction


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