First Office Tower Awarded USGBC's LEED Platinum
Wells Fargo & Company announced that its most recent addition to the Charlotte, N.C. skyline, the Duke Energy Center, has been certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum, established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) — the first and tallest office tower to receive the highest level of certification under the USGBC's LEED for Core & Shell rating system Version 2.0. The Duke Energy Center is also the first and only LEED for Core & Shell commercial office in the world to require all tenants to pursue LEED for Commercial Interiors certification, as well as the first and only LEED Core & Shell Platinum project in North Carolina.
In order for the Duke Energy Center to qualify for LEED Platinum, Wells Fargo and its predecessor, Wachovia, which began building the tower in 2006, pledged to implement the green strategies and guidelines set forth by the USGBC throughout the entire lifespan of the building — from design, to construction, to operation.
"Wells Fargo has made a significant commitment to the environment and the health, comfort and well-being of its employees and customers by achieving the highest level of certification, LEED Platinum, for its Duke Energy Center," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC. "Furthering their tremendous business and environmental leadership, they are requiring all tenants to achieve LEED for Commercial Interiors certification — making this extraordinary project a beacon of sustainability. Wells Fargo should also be commended for continuing to demonstrate their dedication to transforming the built environment by certifying multiple projects throughout their building portfolio."
Efficient buildings are a core component of Wells Fargo's environmental initiatives and efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The company is committed to making its buildings more energy and overall resource efficient. By following standards and practices during design, construction, upgrades and regular maintenance, Wells Fargo is positioned to make all of its facilities more sustainable over time.
Some highlights of the Duke Energy Center's environmental sustainability efforts include:
• Water efficiency — the Duke Energy Center saves approximately 30 million gallons of water per year through a combination of rainwater collection, groundwater purification and a 46 percent reduction of domestic water used in bathrooms.
• Energy efficiency — the Duke Energy Center is 22 percent more energy efficient than a traditionally-built tower of comparable size, saving approximately 5 million kilowatt hours per year, equivalent to the annual energy use of about 450 homes or more than 3,500 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year, through the use of daylight harvesting blinds that direct light into the building, lighting controls that respond to the amount of daylight, high performance glazing on the exterior walls, and highly efficient HVAC systems and controls, all of which reduce demands on the Duke Energy Center's lighting and cooling systems.
• Other sustainable features — a Green roof is planted with native and adaptive plants, which reduces the "heat island" effect, reduces heating and cooling loads on the building, mitigates stormwater runoff, and provides an enjoyable outdoor space for tenants. Also, tenants and visitors are encouraged to use alternate transportation to get to the Duke Energy Center. The building provides secure bicycle racks, as well as showers and changing rooms for tenants who bike to work. It also provides preferred parking for low-emission vehicles, and easy access to the Charlotte Area Transit System bus and lightrail routes.
During construction of the building, Wachovia/Wells Fargo also took into consideration the impact of construction activities on both the building site itself and the surrounding city and region. As a result,
• 75,000 cubic yards of soil were remediated to cleanse and revitalize
the land on this brownfield site.
• 93 percent, or 16, 500 tons, of the construction waste was diverted from landfills.
• 350,000 cubic yards of rock from the site were excavated, crushed, and reused for the construction of 4 miles of new highway.
• More than 34 percent of the materials used in construction were harvested or extracted and manufactured regionally, within a 500-mile radius of Charlotte, N.C.
• Approximately 24 percent of the materials used in construction contain recycled content. Approximately 50 percent of the wood used in construction is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, promoting and supporting sustainably managed forests.
• Materials with low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) content are used throughout the building to create a healthier interior environment.
• Recycling areas are an integral part of the building infrastructure, facilitating the collection of paper, cardboard, metal, plastic and glass.
Earning LEED certification is one of the ways Wells Fargo demonstrates its environmental commitment. The Duke Energy Center is Wells Fargo's first LEED Platinum building. In addition, Wells Fargo's new construction retail banking stores are LEED pre-certified, and an effort is underway to systematically upgrade existing retail banking stores to meet the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance rating system.
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