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SAP HQ, Larimer Office Tower Achieve LEED Platinum Certification

SAP has achieved the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification for its North American headquarters, touted as Pennsylvania’s largest LEED Platinum building, while Westfield’s Larimer Office Tower in Denver is one of the first high-rise buildings in the U.S. to receive LEED Platinum certification.

SAP says its 200,000-square-foot North American headquarters building is currently the largest LEED Platinum-certified facility in the state of Pennsylvania. The four-story building received the maximum number of LEED points in the water efficiency and innovation and design process categories.

By using a state-of-the-art water management system, SAP expects to save over one million gallons of water per year. Rainwater is collected in a 50,000-gallon cistern that supplies water for landscape irrigation and the flushing of toilets in some of the building’s bathrooms. The use of low-flow bathroom fixtures is also expected to help further reduce water use.

SAP estimates that the new building is one-third more energy-efficient compared to conventional buildings by using intelligent design features. As an example, the building’s sensor system is integrated with exterior shading devices that automatically adjust the lighting and help control the temperature level in the facility. A hybrid air conditioning system produces ice to cool the building during the overnight hours when energy demands and electric rates are the lowest. The building also features floor-to-ceiling glass exteriors and a green roof, planted with native and regional vegetation.

SAP also committed to an annual purchase of 19 million kilowatt-hours of wind-generated Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). The wind-energy purchase offsets more than 80 percent of the electricity needs of the SAP Newtown Square campus and reduces the company’s carbon footprint by more than 10 tonnes.

SAP AG now gets 50 percent of its global electricity requirements from renewable sources, according to the company’s quarterly sustainability update for the quarter ending June 30, 2010.

Worldwide, SAP aims for a minimum of LEED Silver certification for new buildings that are owned by the company. SAP also recently constructed a LEED Gold-certified building in Sao Leopoldo, Brazil. Its newly opened facility in St. Ingbert, Germany, is seeking LEED Gold certification.

In 2009, SAP completed more than 100 projects to improve energy efficiencies in existing facilities by retrofitting buildings with energy savings technology, such as motion detectors, timer-controlled lighting and improved cooling and heating systems.

Meanwhile, Westfield’s Larimer Office Tower in Denver is the first building in Colorado to be awarded LEED Platinum certification based on the LEED Core/Shell version 2.0.

Some of the key features of the 500,000-square-foot glass-clad high-rise include a stormwater design that integrates a 100-year flood level storage tank that collects and slowly releases storm runoff into the regional system after being filtered for undesirable sediments.

The building incorporates water-saving fixtures such as waterless urinals and low-flow faucets, which cut water use by nearly 44 percent, and uses native or adaptive vegetation on landscaped terrace that requires about 66 percent less water.

A reduced heat island effect is achieved through use of high solar reflection index (SRI) materials on all horizontal surfaces including the roof and the outdoor terrace covering a majority of the parking garage.

The building energy model predicts a 22.6 percent energy cost savings over the ASHRAE 90.1-2004 standard and up to a 50 percent energy consumption savings based on BTU’s per-square-foot projections compared to the average office building of its size in the country.

Westfield says a progressive under floor ventilation system contributes to the energy savings and delivers improved air quality using natural convection principles instead of forced air.

Tenants also have separate energy consumption metering to help them incorporate their own energy-saving strategies.

Other recent companies that have earned LEED Platinum certification include Wells Fargo, Bank of America Tower in New York City and National Grid.

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