Grange Insurance announced today that it has been awarded the prestigious LEED® Silver certification for its corporate headquarters at 671 South High Street. The project was certified under the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance system, which evaluates maintenance programs, water and energy usage, purchasing policies, waste stream management and other building operations for sustainable performance. Sustainability updates to the 520,500-square-foot complex consist of the renovation of the north tower and the newly constructed east tower.
"We've been committed to sustainability and being 'green' at Grange for a number of years now," said AVP Administrative Services and Corporate Safety and Security Matt Russell. "When we remodeled the headquarters and built the east tower, we incorporated a lot of green features, including new high-performance glazing, exterior sunshades, a green roof, and other sustainable components. Since then, we've been keeping an eye on everything we do, from fleet management to the cleaning products we use, to be more environmentally friendly."
After the 2009 renovation and addition, Grange's Building Services staff started benchmarking energy consumption through the EPA's Energy Star program. As a result of benchmarking, and retro-commissioning of mechanical equipment and lighting as part of the LEED certification process, Grange was able to reduce annual electrical consumption by 2,381,000 kilowatt hours – equivalent to the annual energy usage of over 200 single-family homes.
"Achieving LEED Silver certification for Grange Insurance was a relatively easy task," said Keoni Fleming, the sustainability manager for DesignGroup, who led the certification process. "Grange Insurance already had a solid sustainable foundation in place that we simply needed to build upon, and properly track and document."
The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.
"The green building movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy, and threats to human health," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "The work of innovative building projects such as Grange Insurance is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement."