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New Exelon headquarters is World's largest LEED-CI Platinum building
green headquarters is largest interior project to earn platinum status
for office space
Building Design and Construction
Chicago-based Exelon Corp. recently announced that the U.S. Green Building Council has awarded Exelon’s headquarters with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum Commercial Interiors (CI) certification.Exelon’s new green headquarters is the largest office space in the U.S. to be LEED-CI certified at the platinum level.
“We are very proud of this accomplishment," said John W. Rowe, Exelon’s chairman, president and CEO.“This is the largest office space in the US to be certified under the LEED process at platinum status – the highest environmental rating awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.We are also pleased to help Mayor Daley, Commissioner Johnston, and the City of Chicago meet their environmental goals through our compliance with The Chicago Standard for sustainable buildings.”
Exelon is addressing climate change by improving its own operations.In 2005, Exelon established a voluntary goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent from 2001 levels by the end of 2008, and this goal will be partially realized through the redesign of its company headquarters.
“I applaud Exelon on the platinum LEED certification for their headquarters, and we hope that others in the private sector will follow their lead in sustainable building practices,” said Sadhu Johnston, Commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Environment.“ Chicago is proud to be home to three platinum LEED certified buildings or office spaces with the first being the Chicago Center for Green Technology.The City of Chicago is committed to constructing all new city owned facilities to LEED standard.”
Exelon consolidated its downtown Chicago locations and one suburban location to increase productivity and reduce long-term occupancy costs. To do so, Exelon chose to renovate existing space to LEED standards rather than building new. The project involved the design and construction of more than 220,000 square feet of office space on ten floors in an existing landmark building in downtown Chicago .
In its new green headquarters, Exelon has reduced electricity consumption by more than 43 percent and water consumption by 30 percent as compared to its previous space and has created a healthy and more productive work environment for its employees.From workstations, offices and conference rooms, all employees have outside views so they can benefit from natural light.In addition, air quality was improved through the use of low-emitting materials, paints, carpeting, furniture and finishes, and the installation of high-density air filters.
Exelon purchased more than 60 percent of the project and construction materials from manufacturers located within 500 miles to reduce emissions associated with transportation
.Three-quarters of construction waste was recycled or salvaged, and almost one-third of furniture and other materials were reused to reduce waste.Exelon is also buying Renewable Energy Certificates to offset 100 percent of electricity usage for the office space from regional, Green-e certified wind power. The office at Chase Tower, 10 S. Dearborn, is near public transportation, and offers bicycle racks and showers for employees who want to ride their bikes to work to further reduce emissions.
“Energy efficiency and sustainability have become two of the most important factors in building design.I’m optimistic that Exelon’s leadership in building green will inspire other similar projects,” said Donna V. Robertson, dean of the Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture.
“Exelon has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the environment by striving and obtaining platinum, the highest level of LEED certification,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the US Green Building Council. “Buildings are responsible for 39 percent of CO2 emissions in the U.S. , which directly impacts global climate change – however LEED buildings consume half the energy of conventional buildings. Companies like Exelon recognize the full environmental impact of their decisions and will serve as an example for other organizations to follow.”
The LEED Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. The rating system was designed by leading experts in the construction industry to promote buildings that are economically profitable, environmentally friendly, healthy and productive places to work. Platinum-CI certification of Exelon’s headquarters was based on ratings in six categories: sustainability of the site; water efficiency; energy and atmosphere; materials and resources; indoor environmental quality; and innovation and design process.
“The complexity and size of this project necessitated a great deal of upfront planning and a truly integrated approach with all of the team members participating in the process.Exelon’s vision and environmental commitment, as well as their ability to assemble a strong project team, were key to achieving LEED-CI Platinum certification,” said Helen J. Kessler, FAIA, LEED A.P., of HJKessler Associates, Exelon’s LEED consultant on the project.
Project contributors who worked with Exelon included ISI, interior designer; ESD, mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer; HJKessler Associates, LEED consultant; Turner Construction, construction manager; Lighting Design Alliance, lighting designer; Talaske, audiovisual designer; Studley, project support; and CBRE/Project Advantage, move management.
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