"While our first objective was to provide a healthy, comfortable and productive environment for our staff, we also wanted to set an example of what can be done to renovate existing buildings," ASHRAE President Gordon Holness said. "Given that 75 to 80 percent of all existing buildings will still be around in 2030, our greatest opportunity for a sustainable future is through the upgrade and retrofit of these buildings. It is extremely gratifying to achieve the USGBC's highest rating and confirm ASHRAE's leadership and commitment to supporting a sustainable built environment."
The LEED certification system takes into account five key measurements when evaluating new construction: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Bonus points may be obtained through innovation in design and regional priority.
In order to qualify for the highly sought-after Platinum certification, ASHRAE took into consideration a number of concerns such as energy use, heat island reduction, water efficient landscaping, material reuse and water use reduction, to name just few. ASHRAE addressed these issues and others by:
Installing a cool, white reflective roof membrane to minimize heat island effects
Updating the landscaping and eliminating the need for landscaping irrigation
Retaining more than 75 percent of the existing building structure as part of this renovation
Reducing its estimated overall annual water consumption per year by almost 50% by utilizing low-flow fixtures throughout building.
Additionally, the ASHRAE headquarters received bonus points for innovation and design.