The last quarter of 2017 saw Camana Bay’s 18 Forum Lane building recognised for its beauty, its design and its environmental sustainability. Shortly after the building was awarded with a plaque from the U.S. Green Building Council for attaining LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification, the first mixed-use commercial building in the Cayman Islands to reach that standard, 18 Forum Lane was also recognised locally with the 2017 Governor’s Award for Design and Construction Excellence in the commercial/hospitality category.
The two finalists in the category, Camana Bay’s 18 Forum Lane building and Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, were both Decco/Dart Development projects. The biannual award is presented by the Office of Her Excellency the Governor of the Cayman Islands in liaison with the Cayman Society of Architects, Surveyors and Engineers and the Cayman Contractors Association. A panel of six judges, which included UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office representative Maria Leng, artist Avril Ward; environmentalist Janet Walker, architect Trevor Baxter, realtor Shenna Conolly and business executive Charlie Kirkconnell, chose 18 Forum Lane as the winner of the award. It marked the second time Camana Bay has been honoured with a Governor’s Award, the first being in 2010 for its Town Centre.
The award was announced at a ceremony hosted by Governor Helen Kilpatrick at Government House on Dec. 11. On hand were many Decco/Dart Development professionals, as well as representatives from other firms on the project team. External firms involved in the construction of 18 Forum Lane included Texas-based architecture firm Lake|Flato, local architecture firm John Doak Architecture, Colorado-based engineer CH2M Hill, local structural engineer APEC Consulting Engineers, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer firm MCW Consultants.
18 Forum Lane is a commercial building that is both green and graceful. Ross Tibbetts,Decco/Dart Development design manager
Officially opened in January 2016, 18 Forum Lane is a four-storey, mixed-used building located in Camana Bay’s Town Centre. The ground floor is a mix of retail and media space with office space on the upper three levels. It is occupied by anchor tenant PwC Cayman Islands, Hurley’s Media Ltd. (with live radio and TV broadcasting), Cayman Dental and Cayman Orthodontics, and VivCourt. Since opening, the building has been nearly fully leased. Some of its success can be attributed to the cost-saving benefits tenants receive as part of the building’s achieving LEED Gold certification, which encompasses a thorough checklist of energy-efficient ratings.
“We’re particularly proud that 18 Forum Lane is a commercial building that is both green and graceful,” said Ross Tibbetts, design manager of Decco/Dart Development. “Visitors to the building notice the aesthetics and how well its entrance integrates with the flow into the heart of the Camana Bay Town Centre. But it’s what you can’t see — the advanced energy efficiency and the incredibly flexible floor plans — that imbues the aesthetic appeal, sustainable design and value to tenants.”
To help counter Cayman Island’s tropical climate while simultaneously attaining energy-efficient ratings, Dart Development and Lake|Flato — a world leader in modern, sustainable architecture — performed an array of studies and created scale building models to test the impact of the sun’s rays and orientations to optimise breezes. The building was purposely oriented east/west to avoid direct sunlight and enhance shading, and the open lobby design with a breezeway on the ground floor captures prevailing winds to help cool the building.
In an effort to capture a sense of place, 18 Forum Lane’s cultural response honours Cayman Islands architecture. “Not only do the sun shades cast shadows onto the building to help cool it down, but their aluminium colour and wavy design are inspired by traditional Caymanian zinc roofs,” said Tibbetts.
The landscaping uses primarily native and endemic plants, which are naturally drought-tolerant, thus lowering the water demand for the area while maintaining natural beauty. Water savings are compounded because more than 50 per cent of the roof is sloped, thus allowing the collection of rainwater held in a 50,000-gallon cistern. This water is used to flush toilets and aid the Town Centre’s irrigation system.
The building’s slender, linear architecture maximises sunlight diffusion, ensuring that occupants have good natural lighting and views, which research suggests helps boost mental health and productivity. A 100-kilowatt solar array maximises cost savings for tenants’ utility costs. Designed by local firm GreenTech, this photovoltaic system will help the building achieve an estimated energy savings of 32 per cent over comparable buildings. In addition, all lighting is LED or compact fluorescent.
Sidewalks help connect the building to Camana Bay’s Town Centre, offering within a short walking distance an array of Grand Cayman’s top amenities and services — such as laundry and dry cleaning, dental and medical care, mailbox services, restaurants, cafes, shops and more. This walkability, a Camana Bay hallmark, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating the need to use vehicles.
The 18 Forum Lane entrance is marked by a large, amber aluminium and steel canopy. This design feature increases the sense of arrival to the main entrance of the building, defining its natural “front door.” The distinctive use of colour on the building — decorated with hues of blue and green — synergises with nearby structures, including its sister building, One Nexus Way, which is completed and ready for occupancy. One Nexus Way is also on track to be certified LEED Gold after its performance review.
Both buildings share Camana Bay’s newest courtyard, Heliconia Court. This outdoor space is named after the Heliconia plants that are prominent in its landscaping, which also features whimsically shaped trees and plentiful seating options.
In total, Heliconia Court encompasses 20,000 square feet, making it Camana Bay’s largest courtyard. One Nexus Way offers 82,000 square feet with full-floor office space as well as retail and restaurant space on the ground floor.
To learn more about leasing spaces at One Nexus Way or 18 Forum Lane, contact [email protected]