(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The Washington office of Hines, the international real estate firm, announced today that Columbia Square in Washington, D.C., has received Silver certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® rating system for Existing Buildings (EB).
Columbia Square is a 600,000-square-foot, 13-story office building located in the east end of Washington’s central business district.
It is owned in partnership with Munich Reinsurance Company (Munich Re), which was a strong proponent of the certification effort.
Global Head of Real Estate Günter Manuel Giehr of MEAG, Munich Re’s asset manager, said, "Green buildings have better tenancy rates, higher rents and more stable value.
Sustainability is becoming as essential to a building as a catalytic converter is to a car!"
MEAG's investments in certified sustainable real estate in America, Asia and Europe now top one billion Euros.
Developed by Hines in 1987 and managed by Hines since, Columbia Square underwent the following sustainability improvements:
replacement of all bathroom sink aerators and the conversion of 140 water closets and 40 urinals from the older 3.5 gallons per flush (GPF) fixtures to 1.6 GPF fixtures, resulting in a water savings of approximately 40 percent; and the installation of MERV-13 high-efficiency air filters on the air handling system for improved indoor air quality.
Hines Senior Property Manager Erin Kuhn, Senior Engineering Manager Jim Ferranti and Assistant Property Manager Scott Meyer led the LEED certification effort.
“In evaluating the points that the team wished to pursue, we looked at whether a given credit was something that supported current operations and the overall goals of ownership,” said Kuhn, Columbia Square’s property manager for the past 11 years. “It is a real testament to how Hines operates a building in that the majority of points were either a continuation or refinement of what we were already doing.”
“Obtaining the LEED-EB designation at Columbia Square has been a valuable experience for the property, reinforcing best practices that promote sustainability, efficiency and tenant comfort,” commented Ferranti.
Tenants also played a role in the achievement.
A “Green Reserve” parking program was instituted for cars that scored 40 or better (out of 100) on the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s “green” scale.
This program, when coupled with proximity to excellent alternative transportation modes and tenant support of commuting options, resulted in a 72 percent reduction in single occupancy vehicle use – earning 14 out of 15 certification points.
Finally, a Sustainability Stewards program was implemented whereby building management personnel meet routinely with tenant volunteers to help further develop and promote sustainability programs within the building.
“Environmental sustainability isa key concernfor our firm. Hineshas worked diligently toincorporate best practices for recycling, energy conservation, water conservation and green cleaning requirements at Columbia Square,” said Jennifer Anduha, manager of Office Services for Hogan Lovells, Columbia Square’s major tenant.
“We wholeheartedly support and applaud their efforts to achieve LEED Silver certification.”
In addition to its LEED certification, Columbia Square is also ENERGY STAR® labeled with a score of 79 out of 100 possible points.
The building is 30 percent more energy efficient and annually saves $1.21 in energy costs per square foot when compared to the national average office building.
This translates to estimated annual greenhouse gas reductions equivalent to removing 530 passenger vehicles from the road.
Columbia Square has earned the ENERGY STAR label eight times since 2000.
ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy aimed at protecting the environment through the development and use of efficient products and practices.
Columbia Square’s tenants include:
Hogan Lovells; Debevoise & Plimpton LLP; Studley; and City Club of Washington.
Its office space is currently 100 percent leased.
Hines is one of the most sustainable real estate companies in the world.
In 2010 Hines was recognized by the EPA, for the third time, with the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award; Hines manages 147 labelled buildings, representing approximately 75 million square feet, in the ENERGY STAR program.
Twelve Hines development or redevelopment projects, representing more than six million square feet, have been designated as Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR.
Hines is also a leader in the U.S. Green Building Council’s programs, with 192 projects, representing more than 100 million square feet that have been certified, pre-certified or registered under the various LEED rating systems.
Hines was a founding member of the German Sustainable Building Council and the Russian Green Building Council, and is active in the Green Building Council Brasil, the Green Building Council España, the Green Building Council Italia, the Indian Green Building Council, the BRE Environmental Assessment Method program in the United Kingdom and the Haute Qualité Environnementale program in France.
Hines is a privately owned real estate firm involved in real estate investment, development and property management worldwide.
The firm’s historical and current portfolio of projects that are underway, completed, acquired and managed for third parties includes 1,111 properties representing more than 451 million square feet of office, residential, mixed-use, industrial, hotel, medical and sports facilities, as well as large, master-planned communities and land developments.
Hines has offices in more than 100 cities in 17 countries and controls assets valued at approximately $22.2 billion.
Visit www.hines.com for more information.
To learn more about sustainability at Hines, visit www.hines.com/sustainability.