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U.S. Green Building Council Awards LEED Gold Certification to Rackspace Headquarters

Rackspace ® Hosting (NYSE:RAX), the leader in the hosting and cloud computing industry, announced the company’s headquarters has been certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification program, an internationally recognized accreditation for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

Rackspace’s conversion of a vacant shopping mall into a progressive headquarters building, nicknamed “The Castle,” earned the LEED Gold Certification and demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to sustainability through its Greenspace Initiative.

“Achieving LEED Gold Certification further exemplifies Rackspace’s commitment to enhancing the San Antonio community and dedication to the Greenspace Initiative,” said Randy Smith, director of real estate at Rackspace. “With improved utilization and energy efficiency, ‘going green’ is a practical, long term decision both, fiscally and environmentally.”

Aiding Rackspace in achieving its LEED Gold Certification was the company’s reuse of a vacated structure, an approach known as urban infill, as part of a community redevelopment program that has benefited surrounding retail businesses, residential neighborhoods and schools. In Phases I and II of the renovation, Rackspace has already built out over 230,000 square feet within the 1.2 million square foot mall, and will continue expanding across the structure with more green office space in Phase III.

Not only has Rackspace revitalized the community surrounding its new headquarters, but building renovation has been guided by sustainable practices in accordance with LEED principles across five key areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Specific practices include:

  • During the demolition phase, Rackspace removed more than 1,600 tons of steel and other metals, which it sent to be recycled. Overall, more than 1,900 tons of concrete, metal, wood and other materials were recycled.
  • The company also sent six trailer loads of recovered building materials, such as doors, windows and fixtures, to Habitat for Humanity.
  • All of the design materials, such as the carpeting, were chosen for their ability to fit the profile for no or low volatile organic compounds that could be harmful to environmental health.
  • The design encourages natural lighting through skylights, and since the ceilings are high, lighting can be controlled at every workstation, which, coupled with motion sensors and timers, results in a Lighting Power Density reduction of 15 percent below Standard.
  • The company installed showers to encourage employees to walk, run or bike to work.
  • The bathrooms feature state-of-the-art hand dryers to reduce paper waste, and low-flow toilets to conserve water.
  • Recycling bins for paper, plastic and aluminum are placed throughout the facility, and the company provides reusable items, such as coffee mugs and cups, in the break areas.
  • The external landscaping was designed to be drought resistant and the irrigation system uses only recycled water that is collected through a cistern located next to the main entrance.

“Rackspace’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and Rackspace serves as a prime example of just how much we can accomplish.”

Formalized in 2007, Rackspace’s Greenspace Initiative is a three-pronged approach to sustainability through the company’s customer offerings, employee education and corporate conservation, under which the LEED Gold Certification is a key facet. Rackspace will host its third annual “Green Day” event, also as part of its Greenspace Initiative, at the San Antonio headquarters on April 22.


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