Sunday, March 20, 2011

Adobe's Seattle Office Lands Company's 9th LEED-Platinum Rating

According to Leslie Guevarra writing at on March 16, 2011

... Adobe has received a LEED-Platinum rating for its leased office in Seattle in an ambitious project that earned the three-story, 165,000-square-foot building certification at the U.S. Green Building Council's highest level.

Adobe said this morning that the USGBC had awarded the certification under the organization's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standard for an existing building, its operations and maintenance, ... known ... as LEED-EBOM.
The tenant, Adobe, drove the LEED project. Spurred by the company's aggressive program to green its facilities (the firm now holds 11 LEED certifications for six buildings, nine of the certifications are platinum ratings and four represent recertifications under the LEED existing building standard), Adobe moved to exercise internal control of property management in the leased space....

The two-year project that culminated in the platinum certification coincided with a plan to renew the lease on the site and began with extensive examination of resource consumption and installation of systems to enable better measurement and monitoring, Bangs and Gilmore said.

Based on those measurements, the company took a series of steps that have so far resulted in an 18.5 percent reduction in electricity use and an overall 10 percent reduction in water use, with 59 percent of that coming from landscape water conservation.... Increased employee efforts include composting and other waste management activities that have driven the site's landfill diversion rate from 54 percent to 87 percent, he said.

According to the company, improvements at the Seattle facility include:
• The installment of 30 electrical submeters. There were none before.
• Installation of a building management system. Data from the web-based system enables the building to be viewed remotely, as a single property and as part of the company's portfolio.
• Water conservation measures include installation of an ET controller for landscaping and a semi-flushless urinal system.
• Replacement as needed of existing lighting with LEDs.
• Greening office practices and supplies, including replacing restroom paper products with recycled content items.
• In remodeled space, reused former wooden doors as paneling.
• Installed a 540-square-foot fitness room.

In addition, this week the company began offering reusable dishes for dining in addition to the spudware and compostable food containers that had been available.
The flagship for the company's green building efforts is its headquarters in San Jose. The three office towers were certified and recertified at LEED-Platinum level and showcase numerous environmental systems and design elements, including 20 vertical wind turbines and a dozen Bloom box fuel cells, which were installed in the past year.

In all, some 70 sustainability projects costing $2.6 million have been completed at the campus in the past nine years, according to the company. The results include rebates of $784,000, annual savings of $1.8 million, a 23 percent reduction in electricity consumption, an 18 percent reduction in natural gas use, a 92 percent drop in irrigation, a 41 percent reduction in domestic water consumption, a solid waste diversion rate of more than 99 percent and a 16 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, the company said.

by Leslie Guevarra
Tags: Buildings, Facilities, More... Buildings, Facilities, Retrofits, Standards & Certification, Water Efficiency & Conservation

Jonathan Hiskes writing about the certification at on March 16, 2011 noted:

The software giant became the first tenant – not owner – to earn LEED platinum, working around the devilish renter’s dilemma that occurs when neither tenant or landlord reaps the full benefit of energy-efficiency improvements.

The key for Abobe is the company’s confidence that it’ll be sticking around long enough to reap the benefits – it signed a 10-year lease on the 165,000 square-foot building in the northside Fremont neighborhood.
When it renegotiated the lease two years ago, the company asked for full control over building operations. Owner Union Investment Group agreed – probably because it was getting free improvements from its tenants.

Adobe started by sub-metering the three-story brick-and-concrete building that previously had just one electricity meter. This let it sort out the usage of lighting, server rooms, plug loads, the cafeteria, the heating and cooling system and such. It then used integrated building information software – running off Adobe Flash, by the way – to align settings with the schedules of its 430 Seattle employees. ...

It also took a bevy of smaller steps that earn LEED points: adding compost and recycling bins to boost its landfill diversion from 54 percent to 81 percent; adding water aerators and semi-flushless urinals to bathrooms; cutting landscape irrigation by 59 percent; replacing bottled water with filtered. Crucially, it also works with employees on powering down PCs whenever possible, since plug loads account for 30 to 60 percent of power use in typical digital media offices....

The office sits in a dense, transit-connected neighborhood and nets a brag-worthy Walk Score of 91. It offers on-site workout facilities, dry-cleaning and bike rentals to limit the amount of driving workers must to (and to keep up with Google’s amenities at its office across the street).

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