Yahoo, JLL Achieve LEED Gold on 1 MSF Sunnyvale Campus

In a first for a corporate campus of this kind, Jones Lang LaSalle and Yahoo announced Monday that the search giant's Sunnyvale, Calif., campus has been awarded LEED Gold certification.

August 23, 2011
By Nicholas Ziegler, News Editor

In a first for a corporate campus of this kind, Jones Lang LaSalle and Yahoo announced Monday that the search giant’s Sunnyvale, Calif., campus has been awarded LEED Gold certification. The campus, a seven-building collection totaling 1 million square feet, earned the certification from the U.S. Green Building Council under the Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance category.

“Yahoo is interested in being a green leader in the industry and, while they’ve been focusing on data center efficiency, but they wanted to expand into their real estate as well,” JLL energy and sustainability program manager Frank Teng told Commercial Property Executive. “The campus headquarters already had sustainable features and the company set internal goals to improve efficiency.”

The certification comes as the first in its category of having a LEED standard awarded to a corporate campus that consists of separate, but similar, buildings. To meet the program’s requirements, each of the seven structures needed to individually reach certification standards. Changes, while varied, included using a local-utility incentive program for incentives on power usage, improving water efficiency partially through recycling used water and giving employees an alternative-commute program that used vanpools, shuttle buses, transit subsidies and a bike-to-work program.

“The first hurdle was setting ourselves up for success,” JLL manager of energy and sustainable solutions Ari Hoffman told CPE. “The buildings were already efficient, and those efficiencies helped pay for the program’s cost because of the savings Yahoo was getting every year.”

The entire program resulted in significant annual operational savings, effectively repaying the entire cost of certification, including internal staff time spent on the project, in about 18 months. The program also raised the buildings’ average Energy Star score to 88, meaning that the campus overall is more energy efficient than 88 percent of comparable buildings.

Several additional sites in Yahoo’s global portfolio are currently pursuing LEED certification.