A new office building has raised the bar for environmentally friendly office buildings in the District of Columbia. Lerner Enterprises and WDG Architect's 20 M Street, located near the new stadium, was awarded LEED Gold Certification this week. The second-highest ranking for environmental certification was awarded to the project for Core and Shell Development - the first office building in the city to receive the award. The 10-story, 190,000-s.f. office building contains four levels of below-grade parking, 10,971 s.f. of retail space that will include a fitness center, and includes such features as a high-performance glass curtain-wall and plumbing that reduces water use. Architects got additional LEED points for use of recycled materials in construction and locally-manufactured products, as well as access to public transportation. No points were given for views of the stadium.
The project was designed in 1999, but was put on hold after 9/11, and was brought back to life in 2004. Across from the Navy Yard Metro and a block away from the new, also green, Nationals Park, the building “reflects the city’s high design standards for new office construction.” Though completed, the building has remained an empty shell since construction ended in March 2007, as a tenant has yet to sign for the office building.
According to Eric Schlegel, Project Manager at WDG, the decision to "go green" was, "a philosophical change for the developer" and one that helped to create a pedestrian-friendly M Street.
"I believe that along with some other developments along M Street, the project will set a new standard for design quality in the area and bring commercial and retail activity to the neighborhood," Schlegel said.
The LEED for Core and Shell rating system is for developers, builders, and other real estate big wigs who want to incorporate sustainable, environmentally friendly designs into their new construction. Though similar to the LEED for Commercial Interiors rating, the LEED for Core and Shell category is limited to aspects of construction projects over which the developer has control, as opposed to interior design, lighting, and other tenant-related systems. Both LEED rating systems were developed as part of the U.S. Green Building Council’s effort to establish a national “green building” standard.
The project, which has central, high-speed, traction elevators, also includes the exclusive use of low-emission paints, carpet, adhesives, and sealants, and advanced storm-water management measures, high-efficiency HVAC systems and humidity control. Ok, let's repeat: New, energy efficient, close to Metro and ballpark, with a cool gym. Seems like they wouldn't even need a broker.