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WASHINGTON, DC-CB Richard Ellis’ new office space, located in the Victor Building at 750 9th St., is receiving LEED Gold certification for Commercial Interiors from the USGBC. With this designation, CBRE joins the small but growing number of tenants in the District to have attained Gold or Platinum CI. More to the point, this is the first CBRE office that is entirely carbon neutral, Sally Wilson, CB Richard Ellis’ senior vice president and global director of Environmental Strategy, tells GlobeSt.com–a significant milestone for the company, which has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2010.

The Washington office received 39 out of a total 57 points in the certification system–three points shy of receiving the top certification, Platinum, Wilson says. “We could have purchased the additional credits to bring us to Platinum but our policy is to devote our resources to actual investments that can deliver energy savings,” she says.

CBRE inked a long-term lease for the 65,000-sf it is occupying in the Brookfield Properties building slightly more than a year ago.

The project brokerage team, which included Wilson, Pat Marr, Art Santry and Chris Soucie, chose the Victor Building in part because of its owner’s support in helping CBRE pursue LEED-CI, as well as the building’s location near two Metro stations. Dale Martin led CBRE’s project management team in overseeing the space build out.

Besides negotiating to modify building performance parameters to support the LEED-CI standards, CBRE also requested from Brookfield the ability to submeter its offices’ electric consumption–which means it will only pay for the energy it consumes, Wilson explains. Converting a portion of the roof to a green roof was also part of the lease, although in the end it did not add points to the Gold-CI designation. CBRE has been occupying the space since December 2007.

The office space is supplied with 100% wind power provided by EnerNOC/Native Energy, which is also expected to further reduce energy costs. Wilson says the company is waiting for its first full year of occupancy to conclude before it begins measuring the return on its investment in the build out. “We anticipated a payback period of two to three years, but that was based on energy prices from two years ago.” Hopefully, she says, the ROI will begin sooner given the run-up in energy costs. Besides energy savings, CBRE will be examining employee absenteeism and turnover.

There are about eight offices in the District, thus far, that have been designated Gold-CI and fewer still that have received, or are gunning for, Platinum-CI here. The USGBC, not surprisingly, falls in the latter category. Earlier this year, the organization signed a 75,446-sf lease at 2101 L St. to accommodate its growing need for space. CBRE’s brokerage team and project management group were tapped to help provide the necessary analysis of the building’s potential to pursue this level of LEED certification.

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