Despite support for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification slipping in 2009, businesses across all sectors including retail, financial and manufacturing are pursuing certification as part of their sustainability strategies.
Case in point: Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton has received LEED Gold certification for its Asia Pacific Headquarters office building in Shanghai. The manufacturers says it is the largest LEED certified commercial interior project to date in China and Eaton’s first fully certified LEED Gold facility.
The building is powered by Eaton’s energy-efficient uninterruptible power system (UPS) equipment, breakers, switchgear and lighting control systems, which make significant contributions to environmental protection and emissions reduction.
Sustainable features include:
–31 percent of furniture is reused
–34 percent reduction in water use
–70 percent of wood is FSC certified
–76 percent regional materials used
–88 percent demolition debris recycled
–90 percent of seats have daylight and views
–100 percent of carpet is recyclable
Eaton’s 2008 expansion of its North American Electrical headquarters in Pittsburgh, Penn., also received Gold certification for the expansion.
In Texas, J. C. Penney’s Home Office campus in Plano was awarded LEED for Existing Buildings Gold certification, adding to its portfolio of energy-efficient and LEED certified buildings.
JCPenney recently received a LEED for New Construction Silver certification for the store in Fairview, Texas and a LEED for Existing Buildings Silver certification for the supply chain facility in Reno, Nev.
The JCPenney Home Office campus features a variety of native Texas wildflowers, prairie grasses and drought-tolerant trees and shrubs, and a six acre lake for collecting the entire site’s stormwater runoff. Building features include an automatic window shade system and a wider than normal exterior overhang that reduces solar heat gain by limiting the amount of direct sunlight allowed into the building.
JCPenney says it operates one of the world’s largest thermal ice storage systems and offsets the peak demands of electrical use by making ice each night to cool the building the following day.
Over the last five years, JPCPenney has addressed areas related to energy and water savings, indoor environmental quality and recycling waste by implementing nearly 40 sustainable improvements at the Home Office.
These include retrofitting lighting systems with high-efficiency ballasts and lamps, installing occupancy sensors in enclosed office areas to reduce lighting needs, reducing daily air conditioning and lighting schedules to match operations,and upgrading plumbing fixtures that include motion-controlled faucets.
Other improvements include djusting operating times for non-essential items, implementing the use of green cleaning products, managing a comprehensive recycling initiative, and using cooking oil from the cafeteria to make biodiesel to fuel maintenance vehicles.
In the financial industry, PNC Bank has added seven LEED certified “Green Branches,” raising its total to 84 certified green buildings. The bank has 30 additional locations waiting for certification by USGBC.
According to PNC, it became the first major U.S. bank in 2002 to design and build environmentally friendly LEED-certified bank branches in the United States.
The prototype Green Branch features more than 50 percent locally manufactured materials or made from recycled or green materials, and window walls that are three times more efficient than code.
These green buildings also use 35 percent less energy than a traditional branch, and reduce water use by 4,000 gallons a year. It also has a cooling system that is designed to protect the ozone. Construction waste is recycled or salvaged.