WilmerHale announced today that its New York office has been awarded LEED® Gold certification. The LEED rating system, developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. The law firm is one of only three in the city of New York known to have earned this recognition.
WilmerHale’s LEED Gold certification is the result of efforts that began upon construction of its space at 7 World Trade Center (WTC), which the firm has officially called home since July 2012. The firm’s certification falls into the category of Commercial Interiors and credits WilmerHale with being at the forefront of environmental and sustainability initiatives.
“This is an important recognition that was achieved through our continued efforts on two very meaningful fronts—environmental sustainability and cost efficiency,” said Charles Platt, partner-in-charge of WilmerHale’s New York office. “We are proud to offer an impressive, modern and efficient space for our employees and clients.”
The increased efficiency of WilmerHale’s space at 7 WTC is critical to raising the quality of life for its lawyers and staff and to lowering costs. Helping to earn its LEED Gold certification, the space offers optimized energy performance when it comes to lighting, HVAC, equipment and appliances; reduced water usage; increased ventilation; convenient access to public transportation; as well as bike racks, changing rooms and showers. Various regional materials—defined as those manufactured within 500 miles of the project site—were used during construction of the office, while features such as glass-walled offices, which flood the interior space with natural light and reduce the need for corridor lighting, as well as Energy Star-rated appliances and equipment and ongoing storage and collection of recyclables, make for an efficient and environmentally considerate office.
“WilmerHale’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of USGBC. “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and WilmerHale serves as a prime example of just how much we can accomplish.”
This is not the first recognition WilmerHale has received for its eco- and cost-conscious efforts. The firm previously made history when it announced, alongside Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and World Trade Center developer Larry A. Silverstein, the signing of its lease at 7 WTC. This marked the first lease in the city to include energy-aligned language which allows the tenant and the owner to benefit from energy-efficient improvements while sharing in the costs to make the improvement attainable. A complement to WilmerHale’s new status as LEED Gold, the lease promotes enhanced energy efficiency and sustainability. In addition, WilmerHale is an ABA-EPA Law Office Climate Challenge Partner, participating in a program established to encourage law offices to take steps to become better environmental and energy stewards.
LEED is an internationally recognized green building program that provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. LEED for Commercial Interiors is the recognized system for certifying high-performance green tenant spaces that are healthy, productive places to work; are less costly to operate and maintain; and have a reduced environmental footprint. It gives tenants and designers, who do not always have control over whole building operations, the power to make sustainable choices. Making these choices during tenant improvements and interior renovations can dramatically affect the indoor environment. This rating system was developed specifically for tenants in commercial and institutional buildings who lease their space or don’t occupy the entire building.