Project Spotlight: The Westory Recertification | U.S. Green Building Council
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Published on
Posted in LEED
Published on
Posted in LEED
The Westory Recertification Photo by Eric Burka
The Westory Recertification Photo by Eric Burka

Located only two blocks from the White House, the Westory is an historic building in downtown DC set apart from the city landscape by its Beaux Arts architecture. In 1989, the building was renovated into the 12-story, 273,111-square-foot commercial office building that we know today. The multi-tenant office building is home to many tenants, including several law and public relation firms.

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What were the top overarching goals and objectives?

Nicole Snarski Project Manager, Cassidy Turley

The team wanted to capitalize on the sustainability initiatives initially implemented since they would lend themselves to achieving additional credits, ultimately leading to a higher level of certification. We wanted to distinguish ourselves within a market that had already adopted LEED as a "standard." It was a continued effort to identify additional ways to reduce operating expenses, including reduced energy consumption, increased waste diversion, and the integration of sustainability into all areas of building operation. Finally, we felt it was important to prove to the market that the building ownership, tenants, and management had made a dedicated commitment to sustainability.

What was the value of applying LEED to this project?

Evan Tyroler Project Manager (initial LEED certification), Cassidy Turley

We saw value in a few different areas of the LEED process. Primarily for our team members, it was a learning experience relating to market leadership and breaking ground on the next generation of LEED.

Part of the success in preparing for recertification is not thinking of initial certification as a one-time event, but more of a transformation of the standard operating practices of the building.

Education and engagement at the beginning - and making sure the team understood the mission, benefits, and tasks - was critical to ensuring recertification success. We found that explaining why we were recertifying, why it's important, how each team member could help, and how they would benefit helped drive additional performance.

With regards to the tenants, the pursuit of recertification provided them with a unique opportunity to further differentiate their respective firms in the market. This process also allowed for improvements in the overall building environment and building operations. Recertification was also an opportunity to demonstrate and build on sustainability as a key aspect in their company framework and culture.

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