After 23 years of our Building Design Awards, we at The Bermudian felt the time had come for us to acknowledge excellence in the use of renewable energies and sustainable products for those architects and developers who are consciously ensuring a brighter future for Bermuda. With that in mind we are delighted to introduce the Green Building Award to be given to a project that exemplifies the characteristics, ethos and long-term vision of sustainable development.

This year’s award goes to the renovation project at The Netherlands—a former abandoned apartment building at the bottom of Stowe Hill in Paget which has been lovingly restored to its former glory with forward-thinking sensibilities. The mixed-use building now contains the Bermuda Veterinary Services—a purpose-designed, mixed animal veterinary clinic and hospital—on the main floor, a surgical suite for the Bermuda Feline Assistance Bureau (BFAB) on the lower level, and three residential apartments on the upper floor. During the course of the renovation, architects David and Georgia Benevides of Benevides and Associates integrated several green systems to make the 6,161-square-foot building an impressive example of well-considered sustainable development.

From the top down, Benevides added 60 SunPower solar panels on the roof which produce 2,015 kilowatts of energy on average per month. Where possible, they included Toshiba high split systems with twin rotary variable speed compressors to provide maximum efficiency across all load spectrums. Clearwater Systems Bermuda Ltd installed Walrus centrifugal pumps to minimise electrical usage while maximising efficiency, Rheem hot water heaters to also minimise energy usage, and a water filtration and purification system. The lighting installed in and on The Netherlands property consisted of 120 Cree LED lights which are known to offer lifetime financial benefits in the form of lower utility bills and maintenance costs. Rowe Spurling Paint supplied the Benjamin Moore LED-compliant paints for both the interior and exterior of the building. In addition, all the new appliances supplied by Joshua Bate Trading are GE Energy Star rated.

“Integrating green features into the design and systems on any building makes sense from a financial and environmental perspective,” said David Benevides. “Being green and energy efficient helps all customers to better control operating expenses, which contributes to their bottom line.

“As an architect, my goal is to design the most aesthetically pleasing and environmentally sustainable structures possible. The Netherlands is a great example of this.”