WOBURN, MA-One of the region’s few speculative office projects is going for the gold environmentally, as Cummings Properties has announced that TradeCenter 128 has received a Gold level LEED pre-certification by the USGBC. The seven-story, 400,000-sf building is nearing completion on a site fronting Route 128.

“It is certainly something that we’re very proud of,” design manager James Trudeau tells GlobeSt.com. Cummings did not set out developing TradeCenter 128 with a LEED gold certificate in mind, he explains, but determined along the way that many of the practices being implemented were in keeping with the goals of sustainability as established by USGBC. TradeCenter 128 features energy efficient HVAC and lighting systems, high-performance glass, water-saving fixtures and rainwater storage. Construction materials are made from high levels of recycled materials, and Cummings will institute waste recycling programs at the building as well.

Site development was carefully crafted with sustainability in mind, says Trudeau, and the property will have preferred parking for low-emission vehicles and direct access to public transportation. Many of the practices stem from a “Yankee tradition” of conservation that Cummings has ingrained as one of New England’s oldest commercial real estate investment and development firms, adds Trudeau. “It fits in with what we are doing every day,” he says of LEED’s goals. Several Cummings assets have previously received an “Energy Star” rating, and the Woburn-based firm has instituted recycling programs throughout the portfolio. The firm also just established the position of “sustainability manager” to coordinate energy saving initiatives.

Many of the speculative office buildings coming on line are embracing the sustainability mantra, including the Reservoir Woods development in Waltham where National Grid recently took more than 300,000 sf for its regional headquarters. Developers Davis Marcus Partners are angling that project for a high-level LEED certificate, a factor National Grid said was important in its decision to commit to the property. GlobeSt.com noted in an article last week that another energy company, ISO New England, had won a LEED Gold designation for its headquarters in western Massachusetts.

TradeCenter 128 is slated for completion this spring, at which point Cummings will apply for the permanent designation. Trudeau concurs with other industry observers that tenants are becoming increasingly mindful of sustainability, and are clamoring for some level of LEED certification in their space searches. Cummings is now pursuing a LEED designation for another venture in Sudbury, and Trudeau says there is an ongoing program to retrofit existing buildings with energy saving and environmental friendly improvements such as new windows, lighting and roofs.

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