Commercial Real Estate Conglomerate is LEED-ing The District
in Green Operations and Management
WASHINGTON, DC (July 27, 2011)– Spitzer Enterprises along with managing agent, 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 earn LEED Gold, established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for 2001 K Street, NW in Washington, DC. The management team and tenants celebrated with a special certification presentation by the USGBC on Thursday, July 21.
“Cushman & Wakefield has been a long-time advocate for high-performing, green buildings, and has once again demonstrated its commitment to transforming its building portfolio,” said Jeff Kuziemko, manager of LEED Operations, USGBC, who presented the LEED plaque. “Greening our existing buildings helps save money and energy, creates healthier places to live, work and learn – all while addressing our single greatest opportunity to help solve the climate change equation.”
Achieving LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance
Obtaining a LEED certification is no small feat. In the DC area, the nation’s top green building market, many are striving for this achievement. There are roughly 200 LEED certified projects in DC alone. Accounting for 39% of the certified square footage of LEED projects across the world, existing buildings are outpacing the number of LEED-certified new construction projects on a square foot basis, signaling a market transformation. LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance identifies and rewards current best practices and provides an outline for buildings to use less energy, water and natural resources; improve the indoor environments; and uncover operating inefficiencies.
2001 K Street, NW is a 356,820-square-foot, 11-story office building located on the northwest corner of 20th and K Streets – just blocks from the White House and George Washington University. First opened in 2000, the building is in exceptional condition and includes a retail branch of Eagle Bank on the first floor; with floors two through eleven occupied by other world-class and globally renowned businesses such as the law offices of Clifford Chance LLP; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; McGuireWoods, LLP; and Cushman & Wakefield’s DC offices.
“We were delighted to partner with Cushman & Wakefield on this LEED Gold certification project and help to further advance its global leadership and commitment to green design and operations in commercial real estate. Based on a study of ten LEED certified projects we have completed, we learned that the average building costs are now 18% lower than they originally were and the initial investments are paying back in two and a half years. The buildings are much better for the tenants, people are healthier and the sick leave rate has dropped 33%,” said CQI Associates Principal, Richard Anderson. “LEED certification of an existing building requires owner, management, staff and tenant commitment to the changes to meet sustainable and lasting green building criteria. A limited number of existing buildings have sought this certification and those who achieve it fall into a very unique group.”
The facility staff at 2001 K Street 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.
“The tenants have really embraced working in a green environment. Interior modifications have been completed to meet LEED requirements, whether the tenant pursues certification or not,” said Timeeca Mitchell, property manager at Cushman & Wakefield. “We are 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.”
Reducing Costs and Consumption
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 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.
Senior Chief Engineer Don Bauman commented, “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. Our overall energy savings since 2009 is down about 25%, which equates to thousands of dollars in savings every month for each of our tenants.”
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 30,000 gallons per month.
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 team checks the building equipment two or three times daily and promptly responds to occupant concerns using a detailed work order system.
“At Cushman & Wakefield, we are responsible to build, design and develop office buildings that are more than just pretty buildings. We need to build buildings that are good for the environment, that don’t harm us and that are energy efficient,” stated William Magner, executive managing director at Cushman & Wakefield.
“In 2009, Cushman & Wakefield was the first company to sign a memorandum of understanding with the EPA that called out the benchmarking of green practices that we have implemented. That same year, Cushman & Wakefield was the only real estate firm to successfully complete the USGBC’s pilot program where we brought on 18 properties that were LEED certified across the US. Today we have over 100 LEED accredited individuals on staff and have more than 44 million square feet of property that is LEED certified,” added Deborah Santano, senior portfolio manager at Cushman & Wakefield.
About Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.
Cushman & Wakefield operates nearly 100 owned and alliance offices in the United States with access to more than 15,000 employees globally. With a history of commercial real estate leadership that spans 90 years, Cushman & Wakefield’s brokerage and services professionals are the most trusted in the industry, typically involved in the largest, most complex assignments from New York to San Diego and in major business centers everywhere in between.
About CQI Associates, LLC
CQI Associates, LLC is a leader in energy and environmental consulting. The firm offers services that allow clients to increase profitability by minimizing operating costs. From small businesses to national accounts such as Northrop Grumman, Fuji, and AutoNation, CQI Associates provides custom-tailored services to suit each company’s unique needs. To learn more about CQI Associates, please visit http://www.cqiassociates.com or call (410) 740-0667.
About U.S. Green Building Council® (USGBC)
The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 79 local affiliates, nearly 16,000 member organizations, and more than 167,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. GDP from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org, on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Over 40,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising more than 8.3 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 120 countries. In addition, more than 12,000 homes have been certified under the LEED for Homes rating system, with nearly 58,000 more homes registered.
By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.
For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.