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Green Building Brief: ITC, SAS, and Nation’s Largest Net-Zero Energy Building

Part of the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., has been awarded LEED Platinum status. NREL’s Research Support Facility (pictured), at 220,000 square feet, is the largest net-zero energy building in the United States, NREL says. The building uses concrete slabs embedded with hydronic tubing for low-temperature radiant heating and high-temperature radiant cooling.

Real estate developer The Tower Companies has announced that it has received LEED Platinum status for its Blair Towns complex in Silver Spring, Md., under the Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance rating system. Tower says this makes the development the first Platinum-rated multi-family residential project in the world.

Indian conglomerate ITC has secured the LEED Platinum rating for its entire luxury hotel chain, the company reports. The eight hotels are located in major cities across India.

Business analytics firm SAS’s newly opened Building C has been awarded LEED Platinum for New Construction. The building, located in Cary, N.C., is the first in Wake County and fifth in North Carolina to receive this certification.

The California Independent System Operator‘s Iron Point campus, which houses the control center operating the bulk of the state power grid, has been certified LEED Platinum. The campus includes rooftop and carport photovoltaics that produce 750 kilowatts of electricity, and energy usage is 72 percent lower than at the control center’s previous location. Water use has been reduced 30 percent and building gray water provides 100 percent of irrigation, the ISO said.

Virginia Natural Gas has received LEED certification for its 32,500 square foot corporate headquarters. The two-story brick and glass building in Virginia Beach, Va., is 24 percent more energy efficient than other buildings its size, the company said.

Canadian Tire Corp. has unveiled a store that it says is 75 percent more energy efficient than its traditional shops. The Kemptville, Ontario, store consumes 9.7 ekWh/sq ft versus 17.8 consumed in existing stores.

A workplace with good air quality, comfortable temperature, natural light and other features associated with green buildings is likely to result in a more productive workforce, according to a study conducted by real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle. A comfortable and healthy workplace and occupant wellbeing, translates into lower absenteeism and greater productivity, according to Global Sustainability Perspective.

Finally, HVAC and refrigeration company Carrier Corp. has published a guide for commercial building designers and owners to earn credits toward LEED. The firm says the 2011 edition of its technical paper, Carrier Products and LEED Certification, serves as a blueprint to show how high-performance heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems can help building owners earn credits for LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations and LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance in North America.

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