Beacon Capital Partners, LLC (Beacon) and Jones Lang LaSalle(JLL) have announced the first LEED-Platinum certified multi-tenant building at 550 West Washington St. in Chicago under the LEED for Existing Building: Operations and Maintenance (O&M) category.
"550 West Washington Street was developed as a high-performance building in the late 1990s, and this initiative raises the bar on what it means to be high-performance in the 21st Century," said Fred Seigel, president and chief operating officer of Beacon. "Platinum LEED certification is the ultimate proof that a building meets the most rigorous standards for energy and sustainability, and demonstrates Beacon's commitment to sustainability throughout our portfolio."
In the second quarter of 2008, JLL and Beacon conducted an analysis of 550 West Washington's current energy efficiency and sustainable features, as well as steps necessary to achieve LEED certification. Achieving Platinum certification, the highest possible level, requires 68 LEED credits in areas such as energy and water efficiency, indoor air quality, use of sustainable building materials, tenant recycling and other sustainable features. The building's high ENERGY STAR score was an important step toward LEED certification, as was proximity to public transportation and other existing features, including a state-of-the-art digital HVAC control system.
With Beacon's decision to seek certification, the team registered the property on the USGBC website and implemented a program to improve and optimize the building's efficiencies. Over the course of the next year and with minimal capital investment, they were able to rework building policies to ensure sustainable procedures, coordinate green activities with vendors and tenants, and conduct a full retro-commissioning of building systems to obtain a Platinum-eligible submission for LEED for Existing Buildings: O&M status. Among the benefits of these efforts are reduced utility costs and improvements in tenant comfort.
"With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC's vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO, and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). "As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, 550 West Washington is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement."
Tenant involvement was an important element of Beacon and JLL's efforts. Many of 550 West Washington's tenants, including anchor tenant CME Group, regularly make sustainable decisions with respect to the construction of their tenant improvements and procurement of supplies. These decisions were critical in helping the building to achieve Platinum certification.
"CME Group is pleased to have supported 550 West Washington's efforts to achieve LEED-EB O&M Platinum Certification as these efforts are in alignment with the company's own sustainability goals and occupancy cost reduction efforts," stated Kevin Lennon, managing director of real estate at CME Group.
To gain Platinum LEED for Existing Buildings: O&M certification, the Beacon/JLL team developed and implemented a strategy that included:
- Retro-commissioning the building systems to enhance energy performance
- Sustainable purchasing of more than 40 percent of the building supplies and materials, as well as 60 percent of the building cleaning products
- Increasing use of sustainable maintenance products
- Implementing green housekeeping, green landscaping, and integrated pest management programs
- Implementing battery and electronic waste programs
- Creating and delivering tenant education programs
- Improved recycling rate from 32 percent to over 70 percent diversion from landfill.