CHICAGO - As part of Exelon's industry-leading effort to reduce energy consumption across its facilities, the company announced today that it has increased its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®)-certified space to more than 650,000 square feet. Most recently, the U.S. Green Building Council awarded LEED Platinum certification for Commercial Interiors (CI) to Exelon's 27,000-square-foot corporate headquarters expansion in a downtown Chicago skyscraper.
"Exelon is the least carbon-intensive large electric utility in the U.S., and it is among those with the greatest amount of LEED-certified space," said John W. Rowe, Exelon chairman and CEO. "More importantly, our industry-leading green building efforts across the Exelon family of companies reduce our facilities' energy consumption and carbon emissions and support our Exelon 2020 plan to eliminate the equivalent of our annual carbon footprint by 2020."
The company's Exelon 2020 business and environmental plan sets a goal of reducing energy usage at its commercial buildings by 25 percent from 2001 levels by 2012. By the end of 2009, Exelon already had reduced energy use in its commercial facilities by more than 23 percent.
"The green building movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most-important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy and threats to human health," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO & founding chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "The work of innovative building projects such as Exelon's Chicago headquarters is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement."
Besides the 11-story corporate headquarters, other Exelon buildings that have received LEED certification include:
• Clinton Power Station administration building (Clinton, Ill.)
• Conowingo Hydroelectric Plant visitor center (Darlington, Md.)
• Fairless Hills Renewable Energy Education Center (Fairless Hills, Pa.)
• PECO's West Chester service building (West Chester, Pa.)
• PECO's Berwyn campus' 1040, 1050 and 1060 buildings (Berwyn, Pa.)
• PECO's Phoenixville service building (Phoenixville, Pa.)
• PECO's Warminster service building (Warminster, Pa.)
Exelon's newly certified expansion into the 55th floor of Chicago's Chase Tower has reduced electricity consumption by 50 percent and water consumption by 38 percent as compared to the previous space. The space features a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient lighting system, including T-5 fluorescent fixtures, occupancy sensors and dimming technology; and advanced control of heating, cooling and ventilation systems. Exelon purchased more than half of the project materials and products from manufacturers within 500 miles to reduce emissions from transportation. It also recycled or salvaged more than 80 percent of the construction waste and other materials.
All of the office's electricity usage is offset by purchasing regional, Green-e certified wind power. In addition, the space improves air quality through the use of low-emitting materials, paints, carpeting, furniture and finishes, and the installation of high-density air filters in the HVAC system.
The new floor at Exelon's headquarters is a pilot for future Exelon office environments given the changing demographic and social dynamics of the workforce. It features a fluid floor plan, many conference rooms and informal collaboration spaces, and 180 workspaces with flexible configurations.
"The expansion of our corporate headquarters encourages collaboration, improves space efficiency and allows us to easily reconfigure the space as our needs change," said Ruth Ann Gillis, executive vice president and chief administrative and diversity officer of Exelon Corporation and president of Exelon Business Services Company. "The space was designed to be adaptable to the needs of our employees, particularly as mobility has become more important in how we work."
The expansion into the 55th floor further consolidates Exelon's downtown Chicago employees into a single building, which will increase productivity and save millions of dollars over the life of the lease term. The floor's renovation exceeded supplier diversity goals, with 90 percent of the project's contract dollars being sourced through local minority- and women-owned businesses - far exceeding the city of Chicago's required level of 24 percent.
The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Over 32,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising over 9.6 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 114 countries. By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.