Pursuing BREEAM USA at LORD Green Strategies headquarters
- BREEAM Scheme: BREEAM USA In-Use 2016 Parts: 1 & 2
- Location: Dallas, Texas
- Size: 6663 ft2
- Certificate Number: PRY0000002079
- Score & Rating Part 1, Asset Performance: Good
- Score & Rating Part 2, Building Management: Good
- Client: LORD Green Strategies
- BREEAM Assessor: Healthy Buildings Inc.
The LORD Green Real Estate Strategies, Inc. headquarters is a 6,663 square foot building located nine miles northeast of downtown Dallas in the Highland Meadows neighborhood. Originally built in 1959, the building features a mid-century modern design and has undergone several renovations including additions in 2006 and 2013. As a leading global sustainability consulting firm, LORD Green Strategies decided to purchase the building in 2017 to fit the growing needs of the company, as well as incorporate sustainable practices and strategies it has developed and offered to its clients for more than ten years. As an industry leader, LORD Green Strategies is aiming to achieve all relevant green building certifications at its headquarters, including BREEAM USA-In Use, to demonstrate the company’s commitment to sustainability, as well as assess relevancy of various certification systems.
The BREEAM USA in-Use rating system provided the framework to benchmark our building’s sustainable performance, as well as the guidance and resources needed to increase performance moving forward. We are excited at the opportunity to implement lessons learned and work with our clients to pursue BREEAM certifications at their buildings.
Mychele Lord, Founder & CEO, LORD Green Real Estate Strategies
Challenges – Overview of Green Strategy and Environmental Challenges
Moving into a new building presented many challenges for LORD Green Strategies. One of the major challenges was that the building was not operated efficiently under previous ownership. Halogen lamps were prominent throughout the building and watering practices were not sustainable among other issues. The project team’s strategy was to quickly address the inefficiencies so that one year of good performance data could be collected and input into the BREEAM In-Use Online Tool to assess the building’s performance. The goal was to establish a baseline and to use the Online Tool to increase the benchmark rating over time.
Solutions and Benefits
How has the BREEAM assessment benefited the project?
The BREEAM assessment allowed the project team to benchmark the current performance of the building and identify areas of improvement. In order to achieve a Good rating, several improvements were implemented including a whole building LED retrofit, the installation of a weather-based irrigation controller, and the addition of secure bicycle storage. Additionally, several existing green features of the building contributed to earning the rating including operable windows, proximity to public transport, and extensive planted areas featuring native plants and a shaded rest area for employees.
What value does certification bring to the development?
LORD Green Strategies found that BREEAM certification addressed the challenges faced and complimented the company’s commitment to sustainability by addressing areas such as resilience, health, and wellbeing. The holistic assessment approach meant all issues were addressed, resulting in a more comfortable and resilient work environment. Additionally, the certification guided the project team to formalize many policies and procedures such as an environmental management policy and asustainable procurement policy.
As a BREEAM Assessor, achieving BREEAM USA In-Use certification at our own facility allowed me to better understand the perspective and needs of building owners and operators. As a result of this process, LORD Green Strategies is now in a position to better serve our own clients in achieving future BREEAM USE In-Use certifications.
Alex Herold, Director of Green Building Certifications
Outcomes and Achievements
In addition to providing a better work environment, the BREEAM rating system provides the tools and guidance to increase building performance over time. The project team plans to pursue a higher benchmark rating within three years as well as pursue Part 3 Occupier Management to further demonstrate the property’s commitment to sustainability.
The building scored particularly well in the water category due to the installation of a smart irrigation controller and existing efficient plumbing fixtures. Existing fixtures include 1.0 gallon per flush water closets and pint flush urinals located in the newest phase of the building.
The building also scored well in the Waste category earning all points within the category. An extensive recycling program is in place including the recycling of ongoing consumables such as metal, paper, plastics, and glass; end-of-life electronics and batteries; organic material which is locally composted; and chip/snack wrappers which are recycled into new plastic products.
The asset’s footprint features extensive vegetation with 58% of the site consisting of planted areas. Areas include native plantings, prominent shade trees, as well as a dog park with turf grass.
Although the property is located several miles from the central business district, it is within close proximity to public transport as well as amenities. A bus stop with frequent service at peak times is located adjacent to the property and amenities such as restaurants and banking/mailing facilities are within walking distance.
The building’s energy efficiency played an important role in achieving a good rating. LORD Green Strategies has implemented several energy conservation measures including a whole building lighting retrofit and purchasing ENERGY STAR rated electronic equipment and appliances. Additionally, LORD Green Strategies has an environmental management policy in place that includes a target energy reduction of 5% by 2020.