ROCKVILLE, MD - The Tower Companies, an award winning real estate development company, announced today that U.S. Green Building Council® (USGBC) has certified Blair Towns LEED® Platinum under the Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance™ (EBOM) rating system, making it the first multi-family residential project certified as such in the World. In 2004, the 1-3 bedroom townhomes, located at The Blairs, Tower's 27-acre eco-driven live-work-play residential complex in Silver Spring, MD, were USGBC LEED-certified for New Construction (NC), making them the first certified apartments in the country. Tower has 11 LEED certifications, three of which are Platinum.
"The U.S. is home to more than 70 billion square feet of existing commercial building stock, much of which is leaky and inefficient," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO, and Founding Chair, USGBC. "By transforming its already LEED-certified project – Blair Towns – into an even more high-performing building and certifying it to the highest level - LEED Platinum - Tower Companies, a longtime champion for healthy spaces to live and work, has further cemented its leadership in the green building marketplace."
"Our Green Team, led by Chief Sustainability Officer, David Borchardt, PE, LEED AP BD+C, keep raising the bar on our existing properties, and they continued to build on our achievements at Blair Towns," stated Tower partner, Jeffrey S. Abramson, "earning some of the biggest points from transportation, green cleaning, water, energy, and REC's and turnover management." These factors include:
Blair Towns is located near a metro and transit hub that makes using public transportation easy for residents; therefore over 75% of all residents use some form of public transportation or carpool.
Tower closely manages the entire turnover process of apartment units including environmentally friendly materials purchases, IAQ management, and waste management. When a unit is turned over, all materials used like carpet and paint are environmentally friendly and do not contain VOC to protect the health of the residents.
The building is 32% more energy efficient than an equivalent building, saving the residents money; Tower purchases 100% RECs and carbon offsets.
A comprehensive green cleaning program that specifies green products, equipment, and procedures.
Water efficiency including low flow fixtures, no potable water for irrigation.
Ongoing education program that involves staff and occupants so everyone contributes to reducing their carbon footprint and do their part to achieve greening excellence.
Presently, there exist two high-rise apartment/condo buildings in New York that have achieved LEED Platinum certification under USGBC EB v2.0, the Solaire and the Vanguard Chelsea, but Blair Towns is the first to achieve LEED Platinum certification under Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance rating system.
Furthermore, Blair Towns is the third project in Maryland to achieve Platinum under any EB rating system, and the 12th in Maryland to receive Platinum under any LEED rating system.
The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 79 local affiliates, nearly 16,000 member organizations, and more than 167,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. GDP from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.
The Tower Company is closely-held, award winning real estate Development Company founded in 1947, headquartered in Rockville, MD, and named "2010 Awards of Excellence Development Company of the Year," by Multi Housing News for their corporate green initiatives. Tower is EPA certified carbon-neutral and a member of Climate Leaders, ENERGY STAR and Green Power Partnership programs. Tower has developed 4.5 million square feet of office buildings, office parks, 1,400 apartments, regional malls, residential communities, lifestyle centers, and hotels within the DC area. Of this total, 11 properties totaling 1.3 million square feet are USGBC LEED® certified, three of which are LEED Platinum, and another three million square feet are under renovation to meet LEED certification. On Earth Day 2011, they introduced TowerGreen News, a series of news shorts, highlighting Tower's green initiatives to help educate building tenants and visitors. TowerGreen News can be viewed online and on the monitors located in each of their properties.