The United States Green Building Council has recognized Urban's Philadelphia Headquarters as LEED® Silver under the 2009 Commercial Interiors (CI) rating system.
LEED-CI is the recognized system for certifying high-performance green tenant spaces that are healthy and productive places to work, less-costly to operate, and have a reduced environmental footprint. The rating is established by the USGBC, the industry’s authority on sustainable building design and construction, and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).
“In certifying their office space to the LEED standard, Urban Engineers demonstrates both leadership and good business sense. They understand that implementing green building practices will positively impact the environment, human health, and their bottom line. We congratulate Urban Engineers on this significant achievement,” said Janet Milkman, Executive Director for the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, who recently presented the LEED certification to Urban at its Philadelphia office.
The LEED Silver certification resulted from the collaborative efforts of Urban’s designers, architects from Meyer Design, building management, Commercial Construction, Inc., and MBP. Urban contributed with a high-quality building systems design that includes Energy Star-rated appliances, low-emitting materials, high-efficiency lighting, and water-saving fixtures. Urban worked with the contractor to develop a comprehensive waste management plan, while architects from Meyer Design reused as much of the existing infrastructure as possible to reduce the environmental impact related to construction. Urban also requested several upgrades during lease negotiation, including 55 additional bike parking spaces with innovative bike lockers at one location.
“From the beginning, we were committed to building sustainably – using the LEED rating system as a measuring tool,” said Sustainability Project Manager Adam Shelly, EIT, LEED AP BD+C, who was responsible for submitting the space to the USGBC for LEED certification. “With employees spending a significant amount of their day in the office, we wanted to create an efficient and healthy space that would lead to improved productivity and overall satisfaction.”
The 66,500-SF office space is located on the seventh and eighth floors of the PennMutualTowers at 510-530 Walnut Street. The firm relocated there in 2012 after occupying parts of the building’s 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th floors during the previous 15 years. Situated next to Independence Mall in the City’s historic district, employees enjoy convenient access to Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and New Jersey Transit lines, bike paths and trails, and walkable distances to the shops, restaurants and other amenities of CenterCity.
As the first tenant to occupy a LEED-certified space in the building, Urban worked with the building to pilot new water-saving and energy-saving programs that could be used in future building fit-outs. “We were fortunate to be able to collaborate with the landlord on implementing some initiatives that were previously not in place in the building,” Shelly said. “Hopefully, this is the first of many LEED-certified spaces…or even the beginning of a certified LEED building.”
“The teamwork and commitment from all involved to make this LEED accreditation possible was extraordinary,” Edward M. D’Alba, Urban’s President and CEO, said. “I give the project team my highest recommendation. Every goal was exceeded and all were a pleasure to work with.”