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CHARLOTTE-Bank of America Plaza, a 40-story office tower that has graced the city’s skyline since 1974, has achieved a new distinction as one of the largest “green” buildings in the US. Owner Behringer Harvard says the 887,000-square-foot structure has been awarded LEED Gold certification for existing buildings by the US Green Building Council.

Dallas-based Behringer Harvard says it invested $70,000 in efficiency upgrades to equipment, operations and employee practices, all of which are anticipated to result in savings of $200,000 per year. Steps taken include plumbing retrofits designed to save 1.5 million gallons of potable water annually, an energy audit that will reduce the building’s energy consumption by 1.1 million kilowatt hours, and green cleaning and recycling programs.

Besides being the biggest LEED-rated building in North Carolina, Behringer Harvard says Bank of America Plaza is also the largest in its office portfolio to achieve the distinction. Its Westway One building in Houston has earned LEED Silver core-and-shell certification, and its new Eldridge III building was designed with the same goal.

Bank of America Plaza, at 101 S. Tryon St., occupies nearly three acres in Charlotte’s Uptown submarket. It has more than 812,000 square feet of offices, plus 75,000 square feet of retail space. Behringer Harvard bought the building for $194.1 million in November 2006.

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