AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects

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Herman Miller Building C1

This photo of Building C1, taken at night, shows its new entry on the right.
Photo credit: Mariusz Mizera


  • Location: Zeeland, MI
  • Building type(s): Commercial office
  • Renovation of a 1977 building, last renovated in 1988
  • 19,100 ft2 (1,770 m2)
  • Project scope: 2-story building
  • Suburban setting
  • Completed January 2002
  • Rating: U.S. Green Building Council LEED-NC, v.2/v.2.1--Level: Gold (41 points)

Located at Main Site, a 121-acre campus in Zeeland, Michigan, Building C1 is a two-story office building originally constructed in 1974 to house Herman Miller's executive leadership team. In 1997, the executives left Main Site for a different location. After a facility analysis, Building C1 was identified for a significant renovation.

Through careful addition and subtraction, Building C1 both reveals and advances the company's heritage of environmental excellence and design innovation. The renovation of Building C1 restores, revitalizes, and transforms a classic but aging modern building into an environmentally responsive, high-quality workplace, exemplifying Herman Miller's core values of human-centered, spirited, and purposeful design.

Chosen as an AIA Top Ten Green Project for 2004. Submitted by Krueck & Sexton Architects, Chicago, IL. Additional project team members are listed on the "Process" screen.

Environmental Aspects

The renovation of Building C1 was intended to enhance corporate culture while improving lighting, acoustics, comfort, and air quality. The building was designed to achieve at least a LEED(R) Silver rating.

The entire building shell of Building C1 was reused, significantly reducing materials and embedded energy consumption. Capitalizing on an existing transportation, energy, water, open space, and employee support infrastructure at the campus, the project benefits include the development of no new land, roads, or utilities; reduced transportation; and increased population density.

Building C1's original architect, A. Quincy Jones, incorporated a number of sustainable features, including a sturdy, flexible building shell; extensive glazing on the north and south elevations; operable windows; and solar shading. The renovation integrates and improves on these features. Some of the building's achievements include:

  • New parking constructed without compromising Herman Miller's 50% open space requirements;
  • Non-structured stormwater management;
  • A 31% reduction in domestic water consumption;
  • A 29% reduction in energy consumption over ASHRAE 90.1-1999, through envelope improvements, high-efficiency mechanical equipment, and lighting design;
  • 69% of total energy generated on site;
  • 57% of construction materials sourced within 500 miles;
  • Interior finishes utilizing 50% recycled content; and
  • Daylight penetration and 100% line-of-sight to the landscape.

Owner & Occupancy

  • Owned and occupied by Herman Miller, Inc., Corporation, for-profit
  • Typically occupied by 90 people, 40 hours per person per week; and 20 visitors per week, 1 hour per visitor per week

Building Programs

Indoor Spaces:

Office (75%), Conference (10%), Mechanical systems (8%), Restrooms (7%)

Outdoor Spaces:

Parking (20%)


Integrated team, Design charrette, Training, Green framework, Simulation, Green specifications, Contracting, Commissioning, Operations and maintenance, Open space preservation, Wildlife habitat, Indigenous vegetation, Stormwater management, Efficient irrigation, Massing and orientation, Insulation levels, Glazing, Passive solar, HVAC, Lighting control and daylight harvesting, Efficient lighting, On-site renewable electricity, Cogeneration, Adaptable design, Durability, Benign materials, Recycled materials, Local materials, Certified wood, Occupant recycling, Connection to outdoors, Daylighting, Natural ventilation, Ventilation effectiveness, Moisture control, Thermal comfort, Noise control, Low-emitting materials, Indoor air quality monitoring

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Last updated: 4/22/2004

Our thanks to the ENERGY STAR program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and to the U.S. Department of Energy, and to BuildingGreen, Inc. for hosting the submission and judging forms.

For more information about the AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects, contact AIA/COTE. For help on how to use this Web site, contact .

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