Cushman & Wakefield, Inc., a global commercial real estate brokerage and management firm, aligned with CQI Associates, LLC, a Columbia, Maryland-based energy and environmental management consulting firm, to complete the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Gold for Existing Buildings (EB) Certification of 2001 K Street, NW in Washington, DC.
Managed by Cushman & Wakefield, 2001 K Street, NW is a 356,820-square-foot, 12-story office building located on the northwest corner of 20th and K Streets – a few blocks from the White House and George Washington University. The building is in exceptional condition and includes a natural stone facade as part of its striking architectural design. A retail branch of Eagle Bank is located on the first floor, with floors two through eleven occupied by other world-class and globally-renowned businesses like the law offices of Clifford Chance LLP and the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. A lower level includes two mailrooms, a fitness center, and storage areas. The facility staff began embracing green operations long before the actual LEED® certification process began. In 2008, the management team installed motion sensors for the garage lighting and later introduced a recycling program where tenants recycle mixed paper, plastics, bottles and cans.
Achieving LEED® Gold EB Certification
CQI Associates completed an initial energy assessment of the building in the summer of 2009, then provided a list of recommendations for improving energy efficiency and working toward the LEED® Gold EB Certification. CQI Associates worked closely with Cushman & Wakefield to implement the recommendations and complete the certification process.
The initial investment in the project’s green and sustainable technologies, strategies, and design resulted in an estimated savings of more than $51,000 in the first year. With an ENERGY STAR rating of 79, 2001 K Street NW is 58 percent more energy efficient and annually saves $1.03 per square foot in energy costs when compared to the average U.S. office building.
According to Property Manager Timeeca Mitchell, “The tenants have really embraced working in a green environment. Most interior modifications are completed to meet LEED® standards, whether the tenant pursues certification or not. We are also thrilled with the response to the recycling program and have 100% participation from tenants on all floors. Everyone has really come together to be better global citizens and improve the efficiency of our working environment.”
Chief Engineer Don Bauman shared, “Every month when we receive the energy bill, we are excited to see the payback on our investment continue. At the current rate, we expect to reach a full payback in less than two years. It is very impressive, as with most significant projects in other areas of business, it may be hard to measure the return on investment. We are able to track our progress every month and it is truly amazing.”
Reducing Costs and Consumption
Working toward greater water conservation, dual flush toilets were installed in all of the women’s restrooms and .5 gpf (low flow) urinals in the men’s restrooms, as well as low flow aerators on the restroom faucets, thus reducing the overall water usage by over 30%.
Another important component to achieving greater energy efficiency was the HVAC system. As a part of the project implementation, variable frequency drives (VFDs) were installed on the Air Handling Units, cooling tower fans, and most recently on the condenser pump. Beyond improvements to the HVAC system, occupancy sensors were added in the restrooms and office spaces. The purpose is as simple as the name: to save electricity when restrooms and offices are not in use. The building lighting also utilizes high efficiency low mercury T-8 fluorescent bulbs.
In addition to the physical upgrades, the building management team has taken great care to ensure that outside contractors performing facility alterations correctly follow green purchasing, waste management, and indoor air quality LEED® requirements in the execution of new projects. The management staff checks the building equipment two or three times a day and promptly responds to occupant concerns using a detailed work order system.
“We were delighted to partner with Cushman & Wakefield on this LEED® Gold EB Certification project and help to further advance its global leadership and commitment to green design and operations in commercial real estate,” said CQI Associates Principal, Richard Anderson.