Wells Fargo’s Duke Energy Center, in Charlotte, N.C., has earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification. The financial services company says it is the first and tallest office tower to receive the highest level of certification under the USGBC’s LEED for Core & Shell rating system Version 2.0.
The Duke Energy Center is also the first LEED for Core & Shell commercial office to require all tenants to pursue LEED for Commercial Interiors certification.
Wells Fargo and its predecessor, Wachovia, which began building the tower in 2006, pledged to implement the green strategies and guidelines set by USGBC. Wells Fargo says efficient buildings are a core component of the company’s environmental initiatives and efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
The Duke Energy Center saves approximately 30 million gallons of water per year through a combination of rainwater collection, groundwater purification and a 46 percent reduction of domestic water used in bathrooms.
The office tower also is 22 percent more energy efficient than a traditionally-built tower of comparable size, saving approximately 5 million kilowatt hours per year, equivalent to the annual energy use of about 450 homes or more than 3,500 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
Several energy-efficiency efforts implemented in the building include daylight harvesting blinds, lighting controls that respond to the amount of daylight, high-performance glazing on the exterior walls, and highly efficient HVAC systems and controls.
The office tower also features a green roof planted with native and adaptive plants, which reduces the “heat island” effect, cuts heating and cooling loads on the building, and mitigates storm water runoff, while providing an outdoor space for tenants.
Wells Fargo also encourages tenants and visitors to use alternate transportation by providing secure bicycle racks, as well as showers and changing rooms for tenants who bike to work. The company also provides preferred parking for low-emission vehicles, and easy access to the Charlotte Area Transit System bus and lightrail routes.
During construction, the project remediated 75,000 cubic yards of soil on the brownfield site, and diverted 93 percent, or 16, 500 tons, of construction waste from landfills.
The project also used more than 34 percent of materials that were harvested, extracted or manufactured regionally within a 500-mile radius of Charlotte. In addition, approximately 24 percent of the materials used in construction contain recycled content, and approximately 50 percent of the wood is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.
The project also used low volatile organic compound (VOC) materials and installed recycling areas for paper, cardboard, metal, plastic and glass throughout the building.
Wells Fargo is one of the first major corporations to commit to the Basel Action Network’s new e-Stewards Initiative to certify that electronics waste is responsibly recycled.