255 Alhambra Circle earns LEED® Gold for existing buildings: O & M Gold Certification

Transwestern’s South Florida office today announced that 255 Alhambra Circle has received the distinguished LEED® Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance Green Building Rating System™. Situated within the core CBD of Coral Gables, 255 Alhambra Circle is a 13-story, 231,000-square-foot multi-tenant office building with first floor retail tenants originally constructed in 1974.

Working in tandem with Transwestern Sustainability Services (TSS), Transwestern’s on-site management staff reviewed and implemented building operation and maintenance plans that positively impact 255 Alhambra Circle, tenants and visitors. These strategic efforts all led the property to achieve an ENERGY STAR® performance rating of 90, placing the building in the top 10 percent of energy efficient buildings nationally.

“There has been a perception that ‘greening’ the current standards of existing buildings is too costly or arduous of a task. Transwestern believes the overwhelming benefits of creating sustainable and efficient buildings are financially beneficial for both our tenants and ownership as well as sound environmental stewardship,” said Marta Fernandez, General Manager with Transwestern, who managed the certification process on behalf of the building’s ownership. “With a 40 year old building, there was concern that we would not even qualify for LEED certification. However, through the guidance of Transwestern Sustainability Services working alongside our skilled management team, we were able to reach LEED® Gold for 255 Alhambra, and without a large capital expenditure.”

To earn the certification, 255 Alhambra Circle implemented a number of “green building” initiatives, including:
– 17.5 percent of building occupants use alternative transportation to commute to and from work. As 255 Alhambra Circle is located in a suburban setting outside of Miami, the percentage of building occupants using alternative transportation is high.
– Water efficiency was targeted by utilizing low flow aerators, low flush toilets and urinals. The building realized a 37.6 percent reduction in potable water use for flush and flow fixtures over previous years.
– An ongoing retro-commissioning plan is in place to continually test, verify and improve the overall efficiency of the building.
– A comprehensive policy that defines guidelines for purchasing energy efficient office electronics, furniture that meets sustainable material requirements and light bulbs that contain low or no mercury was created.
– A high performance green cleaning program was implemented, ensuring no high hazard chemicals are used, improving indoor environmental quality.
– Comprehensive and ongoing tenant engagement program was established.
– Exemplary performance in purchasing 100 percent sustainable cleaning products and materials was achieved.
– 77 percent of the building’s parking is underground, therefore reducing the non-roof heat island effect. Having a non-reflective hardscape increases the ambient temperature, impacting microclimates and human and wildlife habitats.

The USGBC’s LEED rating system has become the national standard for sustainable buildings. The LEED for Existing Buildings Rating System helps building owners and operators measure operations, improvements and maintenance on a consistent scale, with the goal of maximizing operational efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts. The LEED program assigns points for various steps, including efforts in recycling, water and energy efficiency and air quality.

Transwestern has a history of operating some of the most energy efficient properties in the country. The first in the industry to make sustainable building operations the norm, Transwestern is committed to ENERGY STAR, a partner with the USGBC’s LEED program, and a partner with the Department of Energy and the White House for the Better Buildings Challenge.

About Transwestern
Transwestern is a privately held real estate firm specializing in agency leasing, property and facilities management, tenant advisory, capital markets, development, research and sustainability. The fully integrated enterprise leverages competencies in office, industrial, retail, multifamily and healthcare properties to add value for investors, owners and occupiers of real estate. Transwestern facilitates better decision-making for clients by combining penetrating local market intelligence and macro-market research through its affiliate, Delta Associates. Transwestern has 33 U.S. offices and assists clients through more than 150 offices in 30 countries as part of a strategic alliance with Paris-based BNP Paribas Real Estate. For more information, please visit www.transwestern.net and follow us on Twitter: @Transwestern.

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