Panasonic Corporation of North America announced that its headquarters at Two Riverfront Plaza, a state-of-the-art, 340,000-square-foot, 12-story Class A office tower, has been awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for Commercial Interiors.
Earlier this year, the building earned LEED Gold Certification for its Core and Shell architecture. Panasonic's headquarters is the first newly built office tower in the city of Newark to receive both LEED Platinum and Gold certifications.
The LEED rating system is the premier, global certification program recognizing buildings constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental performance, energy efficiency and sustainability.
"Panasonic takes seriously its responsibility to support a sustainable future," said Panasonic Corporation of North America CFO Mike Riccio. "We are delighted our headquarters earned both LEED Platinum and Gold Certifications and hope that other buildings in the revitalized Newark will be designed to achieve the same environmental and energy standards."
Panasonic's headquarters building was jointly developed by SJP Properties and Matrix Development Group. The architectural firm Gensler designed the core and shell. The interior architecture, which received LEED Platinum Certification in October, was designed by HLW International. "Sustainability and community outreach can be two sides of the same coin," said Susan Kaplan, HLW International's Director of Sustainability. "The decision to relocate to a growing urban environment with access to public transportation was transformative for Panasonic employees and the surrounding community. We saw the company's commitment to environmental stewardship in its involvement and collaboration with neighbors during the design and construction phases. Achieving LEED Platinum complements these initiatives."
Panasonic's interior office design obtained the maximum number of points for LEED's "Sustainable Sites" and "Innovation and Design" categories. Strategies that contributed to its LEED Platinum Certification include:
- Its location in a densely built urban area; easy access to amenities including restaurants, parks and cultural centers
- Bicycle parking and changing rooms
- Bountiful natural daylight; occupancy-sensor lighting controls
- Over 38% reduction in water use over industry standards including with low-flow plumbing fixtures
- 90% installed Energy Star rated equipment such as Panasonic microwave ovens and other appliances
Multiple factors led to the project achieving LEED Gold Certification earlier this year, including:
- Adjacency to Newark's Penn Station, train and bus lines
- During construction, 75% of the building waste was diverted from landfill deposits
- Half of the wood in the building and furniture is Forest Stewardship Council certified
- The company has installed 245 high efficiency Panasonic solar roof panels to supplement conventional energy use; it has a two-year contract to purchase at least 8 kilowatt hours per square foot per year from renewable sources
Panasonic Corporation of North America has a vision that is about mobilizing communities at many levels, from its own staff to new neighbors in Newark to businesses and consumers around the world. Taking a leadership role in Green Innovation includes making environmentally responsible choices for all aspects of the company's investments, including site selection, procurement practices, materials selection and design. Consistent with this approach, Panasonic's 48,500-square-foot technology center in Harrison, NJ, earned LEED Silver Certification in June of this year. It is the first LEED-certified building in the city, and about a mile from Panasonic's headquarters in Newark. Its adjacency to a PATH light rail station helped the center achieve its LEED certification, as did its energy performance and ventilation.