Top 5 LEED Platinum-Certified Buildings in the US

A roundup of notable office buildings awarded LEED Platinum certification in 2020 through September.

In honor of World Green Building Week, an annual campaign from the World Green Building Council, Commercial Property Executive reviewed notable office buildings that have achieved the prestigious LEED certification or recertification in 2020 through September. 

Based on an extensive list from the U.S. Green Building Council’s website, we filtered the data and selected projects that were awarded the LEED Platinum certification with published scorecards. Below is a list of five buildings ranked by size, with details about each asset that make them stand out in today’s world when everyone should #ActOnClimate.

Rank Project Address City State Points Achieved Certification Date Square Footage
1 388 Greenwich St. New York City New York 85 5/6/2020 2,222,976
2 707 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles California 80 2/10/2020 1,327,532
3 800 Fifth Ave. Seattle Washington 81 1/17/2020 1,000,485
4 250 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington, D.C. District of Columbia 88 8/26/2020 595,442
5 441 Ninth Ave. New York City New York 81 4/8/2020 593,875

1. 388 Greenwich St., New York City

388 Greenwich St. Image via Google Street View

The 2.2 million-square-foot skyscraper rises 39 stories high in lower Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood. In May this year, 388 Greenwich received LEED Platinum certification with a scorecard totaling 85 points.

The property was completed in 1988. In 2016, Citigroup acquired it from SL Green Realty for roughly $2 billion in a portfolio transaction that included the nine-story building at 390 Greenwich St., according to Yardi Matrix data. The deal was in fact a repurchase, as Citigroup had previously owned the building until 2007 when the firm sold it to a partnership between SL Green and Ivanhoe Cambridge. In 2018, the high-rise resurfaced with a new look, following substantial renovations conducted by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Tishman Construction Corp., with interior architecture by Gensler.

Today, the building flaunts a new facade covered in reflective glass panels, which flow on to the nine-story building at 390 Greenwich St., creating a seamless transition between the two structures. The smaller component boasts a rooftop terrace. The plaza in front of the entrance has been transformed, and includes a 3,500-square-foot open lawn, a water installation and more than 8,500 square feet of new plantings, including 28 trees. The renovated Citigroup headquarters features co-generation, smart lighting, improved air quality and enhanced water conservation. In 2017, the company announced its commitment to NYC’s Carbon Challenge, the initiative that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New York City by 30 percent in 10 years.

2. 707 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles

707 Wilshire Blvd.

With its 62 stories, Aon Center is the third-tallest office tower in downtown Los Angeles and totals more than 1.3 million square feet. Designed by Charles Luckman in a modernist style, the remarkably slender building was completed in 1974. In 2014, Shorenstein Properties acquired it from Beacon Capital Partners for nearly $269 million, according to Yardi Matrix data.

In February 2020, the skyscraper was recertified to the LEED Platinum level with a scorecard of 80 points. The building has held a LEED certification since 2010 when it received the award at the Gold level. In 2015, it raised the bar for its sustainable features and was awarded LEED Platinum certification. Presently, it also holds an Energy Star certification with 85 score points.

To achieve USGBC’s highest level of certification, the building features large windows that allow natural light in, outdoor landscapes, bike parking, electric vehicle charging stations and easy access to public transportation. In addition, it is equipped with a building automation system and an advanced lighting control system with occupancy sensors, LED lighting in mechanical rooms, elevators and parking structures, and uses a demand response program for power management. It also repurposes the heat from the chiller to heat the building. Restrooms are equipped with motion-controlled, low-flow fixtures and faucet aerators, and a green cleaning program was implemented throughout the building. Special attention is paid to recycling paper, glass, aluminum, plastic, cardboard and electronic waste.

3. 800 Fifth Ave., Seattle

800 Fifth Ave.

The 42-story, 1 million-square-foot property located in the heart of the central business district received LEED Platinum recertification in January with a scorecard of 81 points. It has maintained this level of certification since 2015 when it was under Hines’ ownership. Last year, EQ Office paid more than $540 million for the asset.

Constructed in 1981 with 3D/International’s design, the building underwent upgrades in 2001 and 2016. The last revamp focused extensively on the lobby, which now features granite floors, marble walls with walnut accents and a new feature staircase with Wenge hardwood flooring. Furthermore, the central plant was upgraded and offers projected energy savings of 10 percent over the previous equipment. Additional sustainable amenities at the property include an outdoor plaza with a garden area and outdoor meeting spaces, premium bike storage and electric vehicle charging stations.

4. 250 Massachusetts Ave., Washington, D.C. 

This nearly 600,000-square-foot, 12-story building is one of the five components of Property Group Partners’ $1.3 billion Capitol Crossing, a 2.2 million-square-foot revitalization project that kicked off in 2014 and is slated for completion in 2021. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill serves as the master planner, while Roche Dinkeloo is the architect. All five buildings are pursuing LEED Platinum certification, and 250 Massachusetts Ave. received it in August with 88 points.

The entire project is equipped with water cisterns that will capture and treat more than 90 percent of stormwater runoff and a cogeneration power unit, which means simultaneous production of electricity and heat. The developer will also install Eco Chimneys, which will clean car exhaust emitted from the below-grade parking garage and Interstate 395.

READ ALSO: Top 10 LEED-Certified Buildings in Washington, D.C.

5. 441 Ninth Ave., New York City

441 Ninth Ave.

Hudson Commons, Cove Property Group’s 600,000-square-foot project at 441 Ninth Ave. in Hell’s Kitchen is an adaptive reuse development that integrates an eight-story warehouse with a new 17-story overbuild and features a Kohn Pedersen Fox design. In April, it received LEED Platinum certification with a scorecard of 81 points.

By transforming an existing structure, the design reduces the project’s environmental impact as it preserves embodied carbon. More than 85 percent of the existing building’s envelope and structural elements were reused, and the development team achieved an 80-percent diversion rate of construction and demolition debris. Moreover, regional and recycled content and FSC-certified wood and low-emitting materials were used, which also minimized the project’s carbon impact.

Especially convenient in health-related crises, the building uses opt-in facial recognition at the security turnstiles, and destination dispatch for the elevators is tied to each employee’s credentials, which means that tenants can access their premises without touching anything. Air quality is also improved through increased elevator cab ventilation, HEPA filters on all HVAC equipment and bipolar ionization for air purification in common areas.