LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y., Aug. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In keeping with its efforts to protect the environment and operate as a good citizen of the world, United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU) today announced that its headquarters received the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program (LEED®) Silver certification for its energy-saving, eco-friendly programs.
Owned by UNFCU and managed by Cushman & Wakefield, the 16-story, 274,000-square foot, Class A office building, known as Court Square Place, was completed in 2006. Having earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Energy Star® in 2010, the Long Island City-based financial cooperative, performed several systematic upgrades and continued its ongoing rigorous monitoring program to effectively address five main areas: Sustainable Site, Energy/Atmosphere, Water Efficiency, Materials and Resources and Indoor Environmental Quality. Coming in under budget, UNFCU realized a total 58 points in the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance rating system; out of a possible 59 points in its "Silver" category.
"Attaining the distinguished LEED certification fits our service mission and is a testament to our hard-working team," said Charles Bellotti, assistant vice president, Facilities and Real Estate Management at UNFCU.
UNFCU specifically achieved a 40,377 watt energy reduction by removing 1,077 non-essential lights, changing 186 of these to more efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting for a total reduction of 42,981 watts during the first six months of 2011.
"This is a well-designed and air-tight building which holds the heating and cooling, enabling the building engineers to operate efficiently by starting the building up later and shutting it down earlier thereby saving energy," said Thomas Holland, property manager, Cushman & Wakefield.
Moreover, the institution took steps to control interior and exterior lights via motion sensors and elevators are in "sleep" mode during low demand periods; installed water conserving fixtures to save water by restricting flow; reduced emissions in accordance with a ASHRAE Level II Energy Audit; introduced a total waste management system that saved 85% of its items from reaching landfills, purchased energy credits.
"Because it is difficult to attain, LEED certification really sets the property apart," said Katy Koehler, LEED Consultant, LEED AP, Envision Realty Services. "We hope that Court Square Place encourages other building owners to take action."
UNFCU also implemented a sustainable purchasing policy to include paper products and office supplies and uses only green cleaning solutions that are Energy Star® certified products.
"We constantly review data on gas, electricity and water and are finding that despite changes in extended tenant operating hours, and swings in weather patterns, we have been able to achieve reduced operating costs," said Walter Symanski, Chief Engineer, Cushman & Wakefield.
Over the past year, the UNFCU Green Team became a Green Movement with 30 staff members regularly contributing ideas, organizing eco-fairs, recycling activities and participating in a local farming cooperative.
What is more, according to a recent tenant survey conducted by UNFCU, at least 90% of building occupants use public transportation. More than 250 UNFCU back office and executive staff occupy seven floors. Tenants, including the United Nations, lease the remaining space. The building is currently 93% occupied.
UNFCU's Court Square Place is the second existing building in Long Island City to receive LEED Silver certification. In 2009, MetLife's Long Island City facility was the company's first property to receive this award. As of 1 June 2011, a total of 34 existing buildings in all of New York City were deemed LEED EB certified.
About United Nations Federal Credit Union
Since 1947, UNFCU has been dedicated to serving the financial needs of the United Nations community worldwide. With a comprehensive array of products and services branches in New York and representative offices in Geneva, Switzerland; Vienna, Austria; Nairobi, Kenya; and Rome, Italy, UNFCU lives and breathes its mission, "Serving the People Who Serve the World®." To follow all of UNFCU's corporate social responsibility activity, please visit us at unfcu.org/facebook.
About U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 79 local affiliates, nearly 16,000 member organizations, and more than 168,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. GDP from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
For more information (press), please contact:
Elisabeth Philippe, UNFCU, Tel. 347-686-6776, [email protected]
SOURCE United Nations Federal Credit Union