Consistently, Citibank remains a global leader in the realm of sustainable construction with over 200 plus LEED-certified spaces worldwide. In South America alone, Citibank has certified two projects, one in Guatemala, the other in Costa Rica. Now, Citibank has brought the first-ever LEED certified building to Honduras.
Citibank’s new office, Altia Business Park in San Pedro Sula is a LEED Gold building designed to be energy efficient, environmentally conscious and to provide a healthier workplace for it’s employees. The project team focused on energy efficiency, access to transportation, and indoor environmental air quality. The building’s location was ideal due to the amount of public transportation available for its employees.
The largest obstacle for Citi and Ambiente Arquitectura Sostenible, the firm behind the project, was their greatest achievement.
In Honduras there are no local building codes, but LEED provided standards to help navigate the uncharted territory. Citibank really wanted to focus on indoor air quality because it was important for their employees to work in a space that promoted a healthy atmosphere. Citibank also wanted to demonstrate that a high level of indoor air quality is possible for buildings constructed in Honduras. In their previous building, many employees complained of migraines and headaches while in the building, all easily attributed to sick building syndrome, commonly found in older buildings. With the use of LEED indoor air quality standards, managers have noticed happier and healthier employees.
Ambiente's project manager, Andres Prera—whose firm has worked on more than 60 LEED projects throughout Central America—noted, "The green building momentum began in Central America by raising the right questions and then provided the right solutions and education to those questions. LEED has helped to eliminate skepticism as it provides answers and examples of success as well as education for people. A sustainability vocabulary has now become mainstream."
LEED promotes the right thinking and is moving not only Honduras but also Central America in the right direction. The standards established by LEED have allowed not only Honduras but all of Central America to plan for more sustainable future, a future in which the buildings of Central America take into account all aspects of efficiency and provide building owners with better performing buildings and happier tenants.