Walker Brands Named Tampa’s First “Gold” LEED Certified Building
TAMPA, Fla. – (March 31, 2009) – Walker Brands is now Tampa’s first building to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification, the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) leading-edge system for designing and constructing a sustainable, energy-efficient and high-performance building. The new Walker Brands headquarters, an 8,400-square-foot facility that opened in March 2008 near Downtown Tampa, is helping lead the way for other Tampa Bay area businesses – large and small – to create structures that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy for living and working.
“This building is proof that you don’t have to be a large corporation to build green,” said Nancy Walker, president of Walker Brands. “We didn’t want to be the newest old building, and it was an opportunity to tell our brand story with an innovative design that also demonstrated environmental responsibility. We exceeded our initial sustainability goals and we’re absolutely thrilled to now be LEED Gold Certified.” Walker’s basic philosophy for its new headquarters fit very well with LEED criteria, and with the help of its design-build partner, Beck Group, the project was completed to meet the LEED Gold certification criteria set forth by the USGBC – higher than both silver and standard certification. LEED-Certified Features and Benefits Walker Brands maximized energy efficiency in order to reduce total energy consumption by 30%. Water usage was reduced by more than 40% as well. Examples include:
- White roofing materials with a high level of Solar Reflectance Index to minimize the absorption of heat and reduce the demands of the air-conditioning system.
- The heart pine wood flooring throughout is made of 200-500-year-old reclaimed logs from the bottom of the Suwannee River, eliminating the need to cut down trees.
- Glass facade on building’s exterior features double pane high performance glass to reduce heat flow and maintain comfortable climate conditions.
- Over 75% of the building is exposed to natural daylight, reducing the need for artificial light.
- Building lighting is motion-censored, and the HVAC system is controlled by zones based on employee needs.
- Florescent lighting throughout.
- Installation of dual flush toilets, Energy Star appliances and low-flow fixtures contribute to a 46% reduction in water use.
- Native species of landscape requiring less artificial irrigation were planted, helping reduce the draw on our municipal water system.