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LEED Roundup: eBay, Diversey, PECO, Crescent, University of Redlands

Here’s the latest roundup of some of the most recent businesses and office buildings that have earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. These include eBay’s data center, Diversey’s distribution center, Crescent’s office tower and the Center for the Arts at the University of Redlands.

Here are highlights for each LEED certification project.

eBay’s new Topaz data center in Utah was recently awarded the LEED Gold Certification, making it one of a handful of U.S. data centers to achieve this designation, according to an eBay blog.

Some of Topaz’s green features include a rainwater collection system to offset city water use, a chemical-free water treatment system, and the capability to use low outside air temperatures to reduce electrical costs for cooling servers.

The project also used low emitting materials throughout construction and more than 20 percent recycled and regional building materials.

The award comes two years after eBay’s first LEED Gold certification for its “Mint” building at the company’s San Jose North campus. The facility was San Jose’s first LEED Gold building, which is still home to the city’s largest solar array, now with five Bloom boxes that allow the company to generate its own clean power 24/7, according to the blog.

eBay plans to experiment with renewable energy at its data centers, and has installed a 100 kW array at a small data center in Denver, Colorado.

Diversey has announced that the company’s Mount Pleasant distribution center earned its third LEED certification at the Gold level, making it the first commercial building in the world to hold three LEED Gold certifications. The facility earned LEED Gold for Commercial Interiors (CI), following its Existing Buildings (EB) certification (earned June 2010) and New Construction (NC) certification (earned October 2007).

As a result of initiatives to improve the distribution facility’s Energy Star score and overall energy efficiencies, the facility achieved a 10 percent electrical use reduction and a 50 percent gas use reduction since it opened.

Since Diversey’s main headquarters building was certified as LEED-EB Gold in 2004, the facility has achieved substantial energy, water and carbon emission savings through various operational and environmental initiatives. These initiatives have helped the company reduce water consumption across its global campus by 15.6 million gallons since 2004.

Also since 2006, Diversey’s headquarters campus uses 28 percent less natural gas, 15 percent less electricity, and 16 percent less carbon emissions. The company also has saved 5,824 reams of paper and 186,000 paper cups.

In June 2010, the company announced the certification of its entire global headquarters campus under the USGBC’s LEED program. Diversey also installed wind turbines at its headquarters earlier this year.

Diversey is now installing a 400-kilowatt fuel cell from UTC Power, at its main global headquarters building, which should go online by early 2011. It is estimated the fuel cell will generate more than 40 percent of the building’s electricity and 75 percent of its heat, further reducing the company’s carbon emissions by 3,365 metric tons per year, according to the company.

Electric and natural gas utility PECO recently was awarded LEED certification for five of the company’s existing buildings. Three of the buildings are located at PECO’s Berwyn Campus; the other two are located in Phoenixville and Warminster, Pennsylvania.

Projects at the site included lighting, HVAC and plumbing upgrades, the implementation of a green cleaning program, the creation of a Green Champion employee volunteer group, and increased recycling.

These efforts helped reduce annual energy use by nearly 3.5 million kWh (kilowatt hours) and decreased annual water consumption by 701,000 gallons across the five buildings. PECO also converted nearly 20 acres of turf grass to native meadows at both Berwyn and Warminster to promote a healthier ecosystem and reduce emissions resulting from lawn maintenance.

These LEED certified existing sites join PECO’s West Chester facility, previously awarded certification for new construction. These five also represent nearly half of all LEED certified existing buildings in Pennsylvania.

In total, PECO now operates six LEED certified buildings and plans to pursue certification for five more local buildings in the future, including the company’s Center City headquarters.

Crescent Real Estate Holdings announced that the Crescent Office Towers in Uptown Dallas received LEED Silver certification under the Existing Buildings (EB) rating system, giving Crescent more than 4-million-square-feet of LEED certified Class A office space in Texas.

In one project, Crescent replaced all water closets with efficient water-conserving, low-flow models, which results in a 10 percent reduction in water use, saving nearly 3 million gallons of water each year.

In September, the USGBC awarded Crescent’s first LEED certification to Trammell Crow Center in the Arts District of Dallas earning LEED EB Silver, followed by LEED EB Gold certifications received by Fulbright Tower and 1 Houston Center in downtown Houston.

In total, the properties are expected to conserve approximately 6 million gallons of water each year and divert a significant amount of waste from landfills through recycling and reuse policies, including electronic recycling, and green cleaning programs. The final Dallas property in Crescent’s portfolio, Fountain Place, is on target to receive LEED EB certification next year.

Crescent says that the bulk of its 35 premier office buildings across the United States are on track for LEED certification by the end of 2011.

The Crescent Office Towers also achieved an Energy Star rating of 81, placing it in the top 19 percent of commercial office buildings in the nation. Trammell Crow Center, Fulbright Tower, and 1 Houston Center, earned Energy Star ratings of 75, 89, and 87, respectively. Energy Star-rated buildings in Crescent’s U.S. office portfolio rank in the top 13 percent of all energy efficient buildings.

The University of Redlands has earned its first LEED Gold certification for its new Center for the Arts buildings. Dedicated in February, the Center for the Arts features 42,000-square-feet of space for the Art, Art History and Theatre Arts programs.

The project included the use of more than 77 percent Forest Stewardship Council certified wood, energy-efficiency measures such as an improved thermal envelope, high efficiency glazing, reduced lighting power density, and occupancy sensors, as well as water use reduction measures that cut potable water use by 42.7 percent.

In addition, all indoor adhesive and sealant products as well as all indoor paint and coating products comply with the volatile organic compounds (VOC) emission standards. The project also diverted 1,738.97 tons (or 96 percent) of on-site generated construction waste from landfills.

The University of Redlands now is home to two LEED certified buildings. Lewis Hall, a one-story, earth-sheltered, 14,484 square foot “green” building, achieved a LEED Silver rating.

Here’s a link to EL’s previous roundup of LEED buildings.

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