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ATLANTA-One Atlantic Center, one of the city’s largest urban office buildings, has been awarded a LEED Silver rating for existing buildings by the US Green Building Council. The 50-story tower, which opened in 1987, was purchased by Houston-based Hines nearly four years ago.

Various upgrades have been made to the building in recent years that have led to 37% greater energy efficiency and more than $1 million worth of operational savings, according to Hines. Greenhouse gas reductions are equal to removing 1,500 vehicles from the road.

Numerous energy conservation measures have been taken, such as installation of variable frequency drives on the air handler units and outside air fans; installation of a new building management system; and retrofitting several lighting systems. These steps have resulted in an aggregate savings of two million kilowatt hours per year, a 12.5% reduction, since acquisition.

Other sustainability programs at One Atlantic Center, which totals nearly 1.1 million square feet, include discounted parking for carpoolers, access to two on-site Zipcars and a single-stream recycling program that diverts 50% of office waste from landfills. Several national and regional law firms have their Atlanta offices in the pyramid-topped building.

“Our tenants deserve the best, in the form of cleaner air, more thoughtful amenities and lower energy costs,” says Mark Ferris, Hines general manager. He says LEED certification has been a goal at the building since Hines’ US Core Office Fund bought it in July 2006 for $305 million, around $280 per square foot.

One Atlantic Center is among several Atlanta office buildings getting LEED-EB certified in the past year, including the 34-story Atlanta Plaza in Buckhead and the historic 18-story Hurt Building. A newer tower, the 20-story Two Alliance Center, was awarded LEED Gold certification last fall.

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