GBA Helps W.W. Grainger Stay Gold

GBA News | Tech Tips

Grumman/Butkus Associates recently helped client W.W. Grainger, a leading supplier of maintenance, repair, and operating products, achieve Gold certification for its corporate headquarters under LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (v2009).

The affirmation updates the site’s prior LEED-EB: O&M Gold status, earned in 2009 under v2008, and is the result of gap analysis and LEED consulting by G/BA. The project represents G/BA’s first Gold-level LEED-EB O&M certification.

Grainger’s two-building headquarters facility in Lake Forest, IL, encompasses about 795,000-sf of office space, plus more than 580,000 sf of parking. Nearly 2,000 employees work there. HVAC systems include five main indoor chilled water/hot water air handling units; 13 smaller AHUs; an ice storage tank and four ammonia chillers for cooling; and five hot water boilers (including three modular boilers). The site was awarded 60 of 110 possible points under v2009, the latest version of EB: O&M available when the project was launched.

Credits making a particularly large contribution include alternative commuting (bikes, carpooling, shuttle service to rapid transit, and fuel-efficient vehicles); optimizing energy-efficiency performance (including LED lighting retrofits and boiler burner replacements); water-efficient landscaping (with an irrigation system fed solely by stormwater from detention ponds); and retro-commissioning (supported by a ComEd incentive). The project scored four Innovation in Operations credits, one of which recognizes an extensive program designed to help staff and visitors understand green building and operations principles.

“Due to a realignment in LEED credits, and some changes in required documentation since the original certification, we were challenged to come up with creative solutions since we knew some prior points would not be available this time,” says G/BA Project Manager Heather Beaudoin, PE, LEED AP BD+C. “Fortunately, Grainger had steadily improved their Energy Star score over time and had good sustainability education programs in place. We were also able to compile new survey data documenting the impact of alternative commuting at the site.”

As further evidence of commitment to green buildings, Grainger recently announced that its Lake Forest data center has achieved Gold under LEED v4 BD+C, marking the world’s first v4 BD+C data center certification.

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