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(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of Real Estate Florida.)

On July 8, NAIOP South Florida and the US Green Building Council hosted an informative educational preview of Stiles Corp.’s five-story Lake Shore II. The 130,000-sf speculative office building, located at 1300 Concord Terrace within Sawgrass International Corporate Park, is being touted as Broward’s first multi-tenant LEED pre-certified building. The building’s architect, construction and develop managers, property manager and engineering consultant gathered in the lobby of the brand new structure to give members of National Association of Industrial and Office Properties and the US Green Building Council a glimpse of the green class A office development.

The hosts admit that their biggest challenge came about because Stiles did not originally plan Lake Shore II as a green building. As a result, the team had to work with the city of Sunrise to change permits that were already granted and figure out ways to gain points in the LEED rating system after construction plans were already under way. The commitment of every member of the team to be educated about the aspects of a green building was crucial, emphasized Rainer Schmiedt, development manager.

Now, the building has gained a pre-certification from the USGBC, which means the structure is on track to earn the LEED core-and-shell designation. Pre-certification only applies to C&S buildings, explained Rob Hink, president of USGBC’s South Florida chapter and principal of the Spinnaker Group, a sustainable design consulting firm in Weston, which allows a developer to submit design and construction plans to the USGBC. Final certification does not come until about a year after completion.

“Pre-certification is not a guarantee. It gives credence to perspective tenants that the building will be LEED certified,” Hink said. Fort Lauderdale-based Stiles Corp. is aiming for a silver certification for Lake Shore II, noted David Siegel, Stiles’ president of asset services.

Breaking down the green aspects of the building, Lake Shore II has been built for 47% savings in water consumption, using elements such as battery powered motion-sensor faucets and waterless urinals. The building also uses a system that collects all rainwater from the roof for irrigation. The project gained LEED points in terms of materials and resources for construction waste management, use of recycled content and the use of regional materials.

During construction, the use of low-emitting materials such as paints and sealants, plus the amount of daylight and views in work spaces, gained the project points for indoor environmental quality. Points were also awarded for innovation in design for the use of green pest control, green cleaning products and providing a LEED educational video display in the lobby, as well as an environmental sustainability program for tenants.

The most expensive green element of the building was its roof, panelists agreed, which is painted with a solar reflective material that will reduce the amount of heat that would get trapped in a traditionally constructed building by 83%. Building to green standards added about 2.4% to total costs, said Miguel Perez, pre-construction manager on the project.

Leases for Lake Shore II are currently being considered, though nothing has yet been signed, says Tom Kates, Stiles Realty president. He says the building is being marketed as a regional or corporate headquarters.

“There are companies who want to demonstrate they are socially responsible in terms of the environment and provide associates with highest level of space,” Kates tells GlobeSt.com. In that way, he says, the building’s design has helped to gain market attention.

In its ongoing pursuit of green standards, the building will continue to track energy usage through Energy Star, a management system offered through the US Environmental Protection Agency. Stiles also plans to encourage tenants to comply with LEED standards, putting them on the path to earn commercial interiors designations that would give tenants the power to make their individual spaces sustainable. Stiles has set a goal to design all of its new buildings to achieve green status and practices.

“Part of the green movement is that it’s a socially responsible movement,” says Kates. “As a developer, because of our size, we felt we needed to be a leader. We think, long term, there’s no question this is what we should be doing.”

Currently, Stiles is in the process of getting a recently completed building in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, at 200 Las Olas Circle, LEED certified as an existing building. In total, the company is responsible for 37 million sf of office, industrial, retail and mixed-use residential projects throughout the Southeast.

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