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Wells Fargo Wins USGBC Award for Green Building Design, Operations

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

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Wells Fargo & Company received a 2011 Leadership Award from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its commitment to environmentally responsible building design, construction and operation.

The award reflects the company’s efforts “to build and operate our properties in a way that provides better banking experiences for our customers, a healthier work environment for our team members and a cleaner environment for the communities we serve,” said Bob Chlebowski, Wells Fargo executive vice president, Distribution Strategies and Services Group.

 Wells Fargo's Highlands Ranch South store near Denver
Wells Fargo's Highlands Ranch South store near Denver is following LEED guidelines for operations and maintenance and is one of 11 Metro Denver banking stores with solar panels.

Wells Fargo, a nationwide financial-services company with $1.3 trillion in assets, said highlights of its “greener” building activities include the following.

• Implementation of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines in more than half of its retail banking stores, with plans to implement LEED standards in all of its retail banking stores, representing approximately 6,000 buildings, or about 30 million square feet.

• Recognition as one of the first companies to earn LEED pre-certification for its newly built stores.

• Integration of LEED guidelines into its contract negotiations for exterior signage, janitorial services and waste-management providers.

• Installation and activation of  solar panels on 11 banking stores in Denver, Colo., generating more than 300,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy combined.

• Earning of LEED Platinum designation, the highest level of LEED certification, for its Duke Energy Center in Charlotte, N.C.

• Support of several USGBC programs, including underwriting of the cost for nonprofit homebuilders to attend LEED training.

• Supplying more than $3.8 billion in financing for LEED buildings since 2006.

Green Showpiece: Duke Energy Center

A gleaming centerpiece of Wells Fargo’s green-building portfolio—the Duke Energy Center in Charlotte, N.C.—earned LEED Platinum certification in 2010. The company said the building was the first and tallest office tower to receive LEED Platinum certification under the USGBC’s LEED for Core & Shell rating system Version 2.0.

 Wells Fargo Duke Energy Center
Wells Fargo’s Duke Energy Center, which earned the LEED Platinum designation (core and shell) in 2010. The building, named for its largest tenant, is Wells Fargo’s first LEED Platinum-certified building.

The company also said the Duke Energy Center was the first and only LEED for Core & Shell commercial office in the world to require all tenants to pursue LEED for Commercial Interiors certification, as well as the first and only LEED Core & Shell Platinum project in North Carolina.

Construction of the building began in 2006 as a project of Wachovia, which later merged with Wells Fargo.

Highlights of the tower’s sustainability features include the following.

• Materials with low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) content are used throughout the building to create a healthier interior environment.

• The building is reported to conserve approximately 30 million gallons of water per year through a combination of rainwater collection, groundwater purification and a 46% reduction of domestic water used in bathrooms.

• The building is 22% more energy efficient than a traditionally built tower of comparable size, saving approximately 5 million kilowatt hours per year, equivalent to the annual energy use of about 450 homes or more than 3,500 metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions annually. Energy savings are the result of the use of daylight harvesting blinds that direct light into the building, lighting controls that respond to the amount of daylight, high-performance glazing on the exterior walls, and highly efficient HVAC systems and controls.

• A green roof is planted with native and adaptive plants and helps reduce the “heat island” effect while reducing heating and cooling loads on the building, mitigating stormwater runoff and providing an outdoor space for tenants.

• More than 34% of the materials used in construction were harvested or extracted and manufactured regionally, within a 500-mile radius of Charlotte, N.C.

• Approximately 24% of the materials used in construction contain recycled content. Approximately 50% of the wood used in construction is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, promoting and supporting sustainably managed forests.

In addition, tenants and visitors are encouraged to use alternate transportation, and the building provides secure bicycle racks, showers and changing rooms for tenants who bike to work. Preferred parking is available for low-emission vehicles, and easy access is provided to the Charlotte Area Transit System bus and lightrail routes.


Tagged categories: Awards and honors; Green building; LEED; Sustainability; U.S. Green Building Council

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