Miami Design District’s Palm Court gets LEED certification

The Palm Court in Miami's Design District
The Palm Court in Miami's Design District

The Palm Court, the second phase of Dacra President and CEO Craig Robins’ transformation of Miami’s Design District, has been certified “LEED Gold for Core + Shell” by the U.S. Green Building Council, SB Architects announced on Friday.

SB Architects, the master architects of the project, said the firm worked closely with sustainability consultants the Spinnaker Group to reach the LEED certification. Palm Court achieved 62 LEED points out of a possible 110, qualifying it for gold certification. The Design District as a whole has already achieved LEED for Neighborhood Development designation, architectural firm said.

LEED — Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design — is the most widely-used green building rating system in the world. LEED certification is geared to verify a building or neighborhood’s sustainability, and evaluates such factors as the project’s design, construction, operations and maintenance.

SB Architects said that it created the architectural skeleton for the two-block Palm Court, taking into consideration building structure, overall identity and the movement of people through the space. Each store was treated as a distinct building, with each individual retailer given the opportunity to create the entire façade.

As part of the sustainability effort, SB Architects said the team also managed construction waste, used recycled, locally-sourced and sustainable materials, optimized energy performance and utilized systems to reduce water use. Nearly every roof in the development is planted as a green roof, providing not only thermal cooling, but a rooftop landscape design mimicking past hurricane patterns over Miami, viewable from the airline flight path that runs directly above the site, the firm said.

In addition, the project provides 50 percent more open space than required by the zoning codes, maximizes access to alternative transportation with proximity to bus lines, and locates 100 percent of parking spaces under cover. In an intersection of art, architecture and sustainability, visitors exit the project’s underground parking by emerging through a re-creation of Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome placed on the project’s south plaza.

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Robins is spearheading the transformation of the Design District into a luxury shopping destination, and the Palm Court has become a popular event site. Maison & Objet’s 20th anniversary party, hosted by Robins, Ocean Drive and Maison & Objet, was held there Thursday evening.

Among the Palm Court’s tenants are Vhernier, Hublot, Piaget and Bulgari.

Miami’s Design District has now completed about 80 percent of its first two phases, which represent about half the overall, 1.2-million-square-foot project, Robins recently told The Real Deal. By December, Phases 1 and 2 will be complete. Meanwhile, construction for the third and final phase has already begun, Robins said.

By late 2016, the 10-square-block district is expected to have more than 120 luxury-brand stores, a boutique hotel, 15 to 20 restaurants, luxury residential condos and lofts, galleries, furniture showrooms, as well as large-scale public art, design and graphic art installations. “Then we have additional landholdings that can add another 1.5 million square feet to the project, but we have no plans for that yet,” Robins told TRD.