Green Mountain Energy offices earn LEED's top score

Nov 8, 2013
Austin Business Journal

Green Mountain Energy Co. is seeing platinum. LEED Platinum, that is

The Austin-based renewable energy company was recently notified by the U.S. Green Building Council that the new tenant improvements at its headquarters at 300 W. Sixth St. have earned the highest degree of sustainability. It is the first LEED Platinum project for commercial interiors in Austin

“We’re very proud to be first, but we really want to inspire and encourage others to do the same thing,” said Jennifer Clymer, environmental affairs manager for Green Mountain Energy

The project has been about 19 months in the making. That’s when the company signed a lease to move from the ninth to the 16th floor

The relocation within the building was a little unexpected. Facebook, the social media giant, wanted consecutive floors so that company swooped in and took Green Mountain’s ninth floor space, which had been LEED Silver

Once Green Mountain Energy realized that a move upstairs was inevitable, company officials decided to go all out to achieve the highest environmental rating

The new space had been occupied by a law firm with a more staid, closed-in feel. Green Mountain Energy removed numerous of walls and doors to create an open, communal space

The process of achieving LEED Platinum began from the outset with 50 percent of the demolition waste reused or recycled. The company also tried to reuse as many materials and pieces of furniture it could from its existing space

Green Mountain Energy worked closed with the LauckGroup for architectural and interior design services. The Beck Group handled the contracting

Though Green Mountain Energy isn’t revealing how much the renovations cost, Clymer said that based on data crunched by the U.S. General Services Administration — which handles all the real estate for the federal government — LEED Platinum projects tend to cost about $1 per square foot more than traditional construction

It helped that the building itself is LEED Gold certified and that the company worked closely with the building management, Thomas Properties Group, to come up with innovative “green” solutions

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