SL Green’s Portfolio is “Greener” Than Ever

NEW YORK CITY (1/19/18) — Sustainable Investment Group’s (SIG’s) team of consultants and engineers led SL Green Realty Corp. (SL Green), New York City’s largest owner of commercial real estate, through the impressive feat of LEED-certifying over 8.7 million square feet of existing Class A office space simultaneously.  In total, nine (9) of SL Green’s Manhattan buildings earned LEED certification in 2017 alone, and SL Green is not stopping there.
collage of SL Green buildings
“SL Green is proud that over 50% of our owned and managed portfolio is now LEED certified,” said Elizabeth Majkowski, SVP, Operations and Director of Sustainability for SL Green.  “We are applying years of LEED experience to our cutting-edge development, One Vanderbilt.  The skyscraper will achieve the highest levels of LEED and WELL certifications and is projected to have one of the lowest carbon footprints in New York City.”

“Pursuing a LEED certification is more than implementing sustainable practices.  It represents a commitment to making the world a better place and influencing others to do better. Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role of the building industry in that effort, SL Green demonstrates their leadership through achieving LEED EB certifications across nine Manhattan buildings simultaneously,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO, U.S. Green Building Council.SIG led this complex process using its LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED EB) Volume Program. SIG designed its LEED Volume Approach with the help of the USGBC. The program was approved based on SIG’s level of experience, competency, and consistency with LEED certifications.

LEED Volume allows for quicker turn-around on the LEED certifications because SIG’s process is pre-approved, and it also allows for reduced USGBC fees because there is a “volume” of buildings going through the certification process. Typically, one LEED for Existing Buildings project can take well over a year to earn its certification, yet SIG was able to certify SL Green’s nine buildings simultaneously much faster. Not only did SIG assist in streamlining the process, but the outcome was extremely effective as 8 of the 9 buildings achieved LEED Gold certification with the other earning LEED Silver certification. SIG also provided in-house energy audits, retro-commissioning, and air testing at the buildings.

Through the collaboration between SIG and SL Green during the LEED Volume process, SL Green’s nine buildings saved an average of 697,708 kwh/year and reduced their water consumption by 24%/year yielding a significant positive impact on the environment. “It is quite the undertaking to achieve an initial LEED EB certification, but SL Green understands the benefits and decided to go all-in on LEED for the portfolio,” said Charlie Cichetti, CEO + Co-Founder of SIG.
Below are some of the sustainability highlights for all nine LEED Volume buildings:

420 Lexington Avenue:

  • Transitioned to MERV 13 filters, increasing cleanliness and purity of filtered air throughout the building
  • Reduced water consumption by 30% through the installation of new plumbing fixtures and fittings
  • Tenant improvements recycled a total of 89.8% of the construction waste that accumulated over the course of work

1185 Avenue of the Americas:

  • Tracked 64% sustainable furniture purchases during the performance period, with pieces that contain both pre- and post-consumer recycled material
  • Offset 37.5% of the building’s annual energy consumption through Renewable Energy Certificates
  • Diverted more than 57% of their waste from landfills to be recycled (during the performance period)

1515 Broadway:

  • Through advanced energy audits, retro-commissioning, and energy saving upgrades, the ENERGY STAR score increased by 9 points (10% energy savings improvement) in the last calendar year
  • Updated green cleaning program shows 94% of janitorial cleaning and paper products purchased meet sustainability criteria
  • Plumbing fixture upgrades have resulted in the building using 39% less water than IPC/UPC plumbing code standards

461 5th Ave:

  • New lamp purchasing standards require the use of high-efficiency, low-mercury lighting to show an average mercury content in the building of 58.92 picograms/lumen hour, far below the LEED requirement of 90 picograms/lumen hour
  • Supported the preservation of undeveloped land through off-site land conservation purchases
  • Plumbing fixture upgrades have resulted in the building using 37% less water than IPC/UPC plumbing code standards

100 Church Street:

  • During the LEED effort, 86% of all demolition debris was diverted from the landfill and recycled
  • Implemented an official alternative transportation program which has resulted in 93% of occupants using alternative transportation methods to get to and from the building
  • Raised the ENERGY STAR score to 90, which puts the building in the top 10% in the country in terms of energy performance for similar-sized office buildings

1350 Avenue of the Americas:

  • Updated green cleaning program shows 93% of janitorial cleaning and paper products purchased meet sustainability criteria
  • Updated an ongoing e-waste recycling program which resulted in 2,974 pounds of electronics waste diverted from landfills and recycled
  • Implemented an official alternative transportation program which resulted in 92% of occupants using alternative transportation methods to get to and from the building

521 5th Ave:

  • Used faucet aerators to achieve 30% indoor water use reduction (30% below IPC/UPC baseline of standard plumbing fixture flush/flow rates)
  • Through energy saving upgrades and initiatives at the building, the ENERGY STAR score increased 8 points from a 79 to an 87
  • Completed an ASHRAE Level II Energy Audit to identify areas of energy waste and provide a savings and cost analysis of energy-saving capital improvements

711 3rd Avenue:

  • 100% LEED compliant furniture was purchased during the performance period
  • Completed retro-commissioning analysis of the buildings HVAC and BAS systems (which identified areas of improvement and provided ownership with recommendations on those improvements)
  • Improved the ENERGY STAR Score 3 points from an 86 to an 89

220 East 42nd Street:

  • Improved the ENERGY STAR Score 14 points from a 73 to an 87
  • Diverted 65% of the building’s waste stream, 100% of the building’s durable goods (electronics, furniture), and 68% of all of the construction projects’ waste during the performance period
  • 100% of the cleaning equipment purchased for the building meets LEED criteria

About SL Green: SL Green Realty Corp., an S&P 500 company and New York City’s largest office landlord, is a fully integrated real estate investment trust, or REIT, that is focused primarily on acquiring, managing, and maximizing the value of Manhattan commercial properties. Learn more about SL Green here

About SIG: Sustainable Investment Group LLC (SIG) delivers sustainability services and education to the green building industry. SIG’s team includes design, construction, property management, and real estate professionals. It provides LEED/WELL consulting, LEED/WELL training, and Technical Services from its offices in Atlanta, GA; Boulder, CO; Minneapolis, MN; New York, NY; and San Francisco, CA. Learn more here