From Pearl’s innovative 2009 solar installation to drought-resistant Xeriscaping, Pearl is committed to sustainability. It started with preserving the historic brewery buildings and has grown to a host of environmentally friendly practices.
Pearl is a walkable location, with plenty of bicycle parking and nearby transit stops lessening the need to drive. As an added incentive, Pearl is host to bike valet stations in support of the San Antonio Bike Share Program. All non-potable water on site is either recycled or captured rain water made possible through a public/private partnership between Pearl and the San Antonio Water System (SAWS). Pearl has planted a total of 662 trees property wide (307 major trees such as elms, oaks, and sycamores; and 355 smaller trees such as mountain laurels and persimmons).
Water is a precious resource, especially in Central Texas. All non-potable water is recycled or captured rainwater. Designers have selected beautiful and functional high-efficiency plumbing fixtures that use less water than typical fixtures with recycling functions. The landscape of attractive native and adapted plants embodies the natural character of San Antonio while requiring less water. The project’s green space will use approximately one-fifth of the water an average landscape would require. Pearl uses the blow down or waste water from its cooling towers to irrigate landscaping throughout the property. This reduces water usage and diverts waste water from the sewer treatment plant.
Pearl is committed to consuming less energy and emitting fewer greenhouse gases. To accomplish this goal, energy efficient windows and ample building insulation lead to more comfortable indoor spaces at lower operating costs as all buildings incorporate Energy Star-rated appliances. Pearl has two Electric Vehicle Charging stations located in the CIA Garage to improve vehicle fuel economy, lower fuel costs and reduce emissions.
MATERIALS & RESOURCES
Sustainable construction practices and responsible materials selection are key to Pearl’s commitment to being environmental leaders. The project’s use of high-quality building materials with a significant percentage of recycled content encourages the diversion of waste from landfills and conserves virgin resources.
Pearl has an extensive food composting program in response to the needs of the numerous restaurants on site. Food waste from all the restaurants is processed in a central location and the resulting compost is incorporated in mulches for gardens and landscapes. This program diverts 4 to 5 tons of food waste per week from the local landfill.
INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
Pearl’s indoor environment promotes health and wellness. The design team selected low-emitting adhesives, sealants, paints, carpet and other materials that contribute to healthy, high-quality indoor air. Living spaces are designed to maximize access to outdoor views and daylight while keeping indoor temperatures comfortable. Windows in Pearl are double-paned, tinted and have a low solar heat gain coefficient, minimizing the solar radiation that enters interior spaces in the heat of summer. Smoking is prohibited inside all buildings at Pearl.
Pearl is registered with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) – one of the most stringent measures of sustainability in the world – and achieved Gold Level certification for the Full Goods and CIA Buildings.
Full Goods Building features a learning lab for environmental initiatives including:
- 200-kilowatt solar installation, generating one-fourth of the building's energy
- Energy conserving high-performance insulation
- Reflective roofing, high-performance glass, solar blocking screens and low energy lighting
- Rainwater is collected and stored in recycled beer cisterns to supplement irrigation of the environmentally responsible, natural, low water use landscape.