Campau Square Plaza earns LEED

October 30, 2010
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The Campau Square Plaza Building, a 13-story office structure at 99 Monroe Ave. NW, recently earned Gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating program for existing buildings.

The award, which marks efficiencies in operations and maintenance, makes Campau Square Plaza the first multi-tenant office structure in West Michigan to be LEED-EB certified. The 200,000-square-foot building is owned by Westminster Campau LLC and managed by CB Richard Ellis of Grand Rapids.

“Attaining LEED Gold certification is a tremendous validation of our sustainability and energy conservation efforts at Campus Square Plaza Building,” said Matt Van Wie, asset manager for Westminster Campau, in a press release.

“We are particularly pleased that we were able to do so with limited capital investment by optimizing the building systems and operational efficiencies,” he added.

Westminster Campau installed a computerized energy management system in the building three years ago that monitors and reviews energy use on a daily basis. Since then, the firm has captured three Energy Star certifications and saved about $200,000 a year on heating and cooling costs. Westminster Campau earned its third Energy Star rating at roughly the same time the company was awarded a LEED-EB Gold for the building.

Michael Martz, senior real estate manager for CBRE/GR, said a year ago that gold certification was Westminster Campau’s goal for the building. He added then that the firm wanted to pursue a platinum rating — the highest USGBC offers, but the investment needed to reach that goal was too steep for the current economic conditions. “It can be an additional $30,000 to $40,000 to get that done, and that’s a pretty good price tag,” he said then.

According to USGBC, LEED-EB helps building owners and operators measure operations, improvements and maintenance on a consistent scale with a goal of maximizing operational efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts. LEED for Existing Buildings addresses cleaning and maintenance issues (including chemical use), recycling programs, exterior maintenance programs and systems upgrades.

The LEED steering committee reduced a building’s occupancy rate for certification from 75 percent to 50 percent a year ago. The committee said it made the change “as a response to current market realities that have disqualified an unprecedented number of properties from pursuing LEED certification because they are unable to meet the 75 percent occupancy requirement.”

In addition to managing Campau Square Plaza, CBRE/GR also has its office in it. One year ago, Newsweek named the CB Richard Ellis Group as the greenest of the nation’s commercial real estate management firms. More than 50 buildings that it manages have attained LEED-EB certification nationwide. USGBC reports that buildings are responsible for 39 percent of the nation’s CO2 emissions, 40 percent of energy consumption, and 13 percent of water consumption. The council also said these structures represent 15 percent of the gross domestic product.

“We could not be more proud of CBRE’s ever-growing portfolio of LEED-certified projects. What better way to tackle our collective environmental challenges head-on than to start by retrofitting our existing building stock, ensuring better use of energy and fewer impacts to our natural resources,” said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC president, CEO and founding chairman.

“CBRE along with the owners of these buildings are model examples of business and environmental leadership at its best.”

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