COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- American Electric Power's (NYSE: AEP) corporate headquarters building, 1 Riverside Plaza in Columbus, Ohio, has been certified as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold for Existing Buildings: Operation and Maintenance (EB: O&M). This is the first LEED certification in the existing building classification for AEP.
LEED is a program of the U.S. Green Building Council that certifies the greenest-performing buildings in the world. For existing buildings, LEED rates the reduction of environmental impacts, improved operational efficiencies and documented savings.
"We've committed to taking steps to reduce waste and use resources more prudently with the goal of creating a healthy, safe environment for our employees and the communities where we operate. Part of that effort includes building new facilities to meet LEED certification standards, and working to incorporate high sustainability standards when we have opportunities to upgrade our existing buildings," said Dennis Welch, executive vice president – Environment, Safety & Health, and Facilities. "Throughout our 11-state service territory, we are running our facilities today with 15 percent less energy than we used in 2007. We are very pleased that we were able make some cost-effective changes in how we operate our headquarters to achieve this level of certification for an existing building."
LEED certification for existing buildings addresses exterior building site maintenance programs, water and energy use, use of environmentally preferred products and practices for cleaning and alterations, sustainable purchasing policies, waste stream management and ongoing indoor environmental quality. Changes made at AEP's headquarters building have achieved a 17 percent decrease in annual energy usage. Additionally, the company has put in place systems to recycle approximately 65 percent of the total ongoing consumables generated at the building.
AEP has four other buildings that are LEED certified for new construction, including its Transmission Operations Center in New Albany, Ohio; a service center in Marietta, Ohio; a service center in Rogers, Ark.; and a service center in Decatur, Ind.
The 813,689-square-foot, 31-story AEP headquarters building was completed in 1983. The building also earned U.S. EPA's ENERGY STAR certification in 2010.
The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit membership organization whose vision is a sustainable-build environment within a generation. Its membership includes corporations, builders, universities, government agencies and other nonprofit organizations.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation's largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation's largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP's transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP's utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP's headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.
SOURCE American Electric Power