From the Sustainable Lawyer: National Grid LEED’s the Way in Sustainability

Monday, May 14, 2012

This article was originally posted on The Sustainable Lawyer. Click here to read the original article.

A few weeks back, TSL’s Green Glossary helped define a LEED certification (but here’s a quick reminder if you forgot – LEED is a green building rating system for designers, developers and new building owners who want to address sustainable design for new core and shell construction). Perhaps our friends at National Grid, Senior Vice President & US General Counsel Colin Owyang, (who also serves on the BBA’s governing Council) and Senior Counsel Wendy Levine, thought we were on to something. When Wendy and Colin told us about National Grid’s New England corporate offices in Waltham, MA that has earned a Platinum-level LEED certification, TSL was anxious to learn more.

Here’s what we found out:

After breaking ground on the project in February 2008, National Grid officially opened its three-story, 312,000 sq. ft. workspace (that has the ability to house 1,500 employees) at Reservoir Woods in Waltham, MA, in May of 2009. While most companies would be breathing a sigh of relief, National Grid was excited for another challenge — its upcoming United States Green Building Council (the non-governmental group who developed the LEED certification, remember?) evaluation.

Obviously, in order to earn a Platinum level certification, green design, construction and amenities have to be top notch. In fact, the building is one of only a handful of single tenant facilities in the world to earn LEED Platinum Certification for both Core and Shell Construction and Commercial interiors. We are not going to give you all the details here, but Colin and Wendy shared a few of the highlights of this building with TSL, and we are happy to share them with you.

Reservoir Woods’ energy and water-saving features include:

  • Lighting that uses 40 percent less electricity than a typical commercial building in Massachusetts, with occupancy sensors, task oriented lighting and daylight sensors at workstations that save more than 800,000 kilowatt hours annually – enough to power 133 homes for one year
  • High-efficiency heating and cooling systems with adaptable controls to sense outdoor and indoor temperatures
  • Water conservation measures including dual-flush toilets, automatic sensor faucets and a rainwater recycling system that together are expected to reduce consumption by about 2.4 million gallons per year
  • Approximately 20,000 sq. ft. of roof-top solar panels that generate enough electricity to power about 30 homes each year and offset 400,000 lbs. of CO2 annually
  • Exterior shading devices on southern-facing exposures and a highly reflective white roof that help keep the building cool
  • Superior air quality systems featuring carbon dioxide sensors installed in ventilation ducts
  • Sustainable materials: 28% of the materials and furnishings are recycled; 68.5% of the wood is sourced from sustainably managed forests; café floors made of rapidly renewable bamboo; carpet tiles consisting of 42% pre-consumer recycled materials; workstation fabrics made of 100% recycled content; locally manufactured recycled aluminum ceiling tiles; low-VOC adhesives, sealants, paints and coatings throughout the building
  • More than 93% of construction waste was recycled

That is one sustainable building. Good thing it looks pretty cool, too.

Want more info on this building? Find out everything you need to know from this booklet.