LEEDing the Way…



HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC – Interior design firm J Banks Design Group built the most ecologically sensitive building on Hilton Head Island, and has now been recognized for doing so by the US Green Building Council (USGBC).

The USGBC has awarded LEED® certification to the internationally renowned residential and commercial design firm’s new building at 35 Main Street.

A multi-functional space created by the high-end interior design firm to serve as a centralized location for their offices, design studio, warehouse facility and high-end retail boutique, the 18,000-square-foot building is also home to two tenants: gourmet takeout bistro Sandstone Catering and luxury flooring and tile showroom KPM Flooring. Joni Vanderslice, President of J Banks, wanted the building to be all-inclusive, enabling patrons to utilize it as their sole destination for all of their design needs. In keeping with Vanderslice’s vision of a space that the public could use as well as the design firm, the conference room is designed and decorated so that it can also be used for seminars, catering events and even private dining.

“I’m excited to share this new building with everyone in the firm, as well as everyone in our community,” says Vanderslice. “For years it’s been a dream of mine for all of us here at J Banks to practice what we preach to our clients: think green, design green, build green, live green.”

Making sure that the project met LEED® specifications presented certain obstacles. Stringent codes and higher front-end expenses, coupled with the difficulty of finding a company available on Hilton Head Island to consult regarding the high-end technological requirements, presented a difficult challenge to overcome. Those challenges were met and surpassed with the help of Bluffton, South Carolina-based Fraser Construction Company.

“Our company is committed to building healthier and more energy efficient buildings. We also believe that the third party certification process is the best way for the building owner to be assured that they have a ‘green’ building,” said Joe Fraser III, President of Fraser Construction.

“Fraser Construction and the J Banks Design LEED® certification demonstrate tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair of USGBC. “The J Banks Design project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit further generations to come.”

LEED® certification of the 35 Main project was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community, including: lower operating costs, increased asset value, reduction of waste sent to landfills, conservation of energy and water, a healthier/safer environment for occupants and reduction of harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Additional measures include:

• Recycling all paper, glass, plastics, metals and cardboard used by the company

• Using trees cut down on the build site as paneling and trim in the new headquarters

• All paints, adhesives, coatings, etc. are low-VOC or VOC-free

• All non-wooden floors are made of recycled content – carpets and VCT– and wooden floors are made from recycled heart pine barn siding.

• Natural light throughout

• Landscaping consists entirely of local, native, and drought tolerant plants.

• Parking spaces are made of permeable pavers, reducing storm water runoff

• A bike rack and showers to encourage employees to cycle to work

• Roofing contains high-albedo materials, creating heat islands to heat and cool the building and reduce energy consumption

• GreenSpec-certified Icynene spray-foam insulation

• Use of shredded, recycled office paper for packing materials

By following the nationally recognized LEED® principles, J Banks has designed a building that balances their environmental responsibilities, design aesthetics and the well being of their employees.

J Banks Design Group is listed 64th on Interior Design magazine’s list of “Top 75 Commercial Design Giants”, and 137th on their list of “Top 200 Interior Design Giants”. Located in the resort community of Hilton Head Island, J Banks is one of only a select few design firms listed on Interior Design’s Top 200 that are not located in a major metropolitan area. It is this intimate knowledge of the lifestyle for which they design that enables the company to consistently deliver high quality projects for discriminating clientele. The firm’s commitment to excellence has nurtured long-term relationships with developers and clients alike.


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Filed under 35 Main Street, Green Design, Joni Vanderslice, Projects

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