Jones Lang LaSalle announced that LEED ® Gold certification has been awarded for one of the Yahoo! properties under its management portfolio. Jones Lang LaSalle managed the LEED certification process for Yahoo!’s Sunnyvale headquarters, a 1 million square foot collection of seven office buildings located at 701 First Ave. The 11 year old buildings earned LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) under the Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (EBOM) standard. Jones Lang LaSalle and Yahoo! worked with the USGBC on this first ever initiative to apply the EBOM certification path to an existing campus consisting of separate but similar buildings. The initiative required demonstrating to the USGBC that each of the seven buildings meet LEED minimum program requirements.
The two year process set precedents for certifying large campuses in alignment with the USGBC’s forthcoming LEED Application Guide for Multiple Buildings and On Campus Building Projects. This is one of the largest corporate campuses to include LEED Gold certified buildings and is the first corporate campus to gain certification as a multi-building property.
“Gaining LEED Gold certification at our entire corporate headquarters campus demonstrates our commitment to providing a workplace that promotes environmental sustainability, energy efficiency, and the health and well being of all occupants,” said George Kreitem, Director of Real Estate & Workplace, Yahoo!. “Yahoo!’s achievement is really an investment in our future.”
“Given the complexity of the project and the evolving nature of the guidelines involved, it was key that the Yahoo! and Jones Lang LaSalle teams made a serious commitment to understanding and following the intent of LEED,” said Ari Hoffman, project leader at Jones Lang LaSalle. “Various LEED credits required an extended network of teams to re-evaluate their practices, and everybody was prepared to make modifications to make the campus more sustainable. Fortunately, there were many LEED compliant practices already in place.”
The entire LEED certification program developed and implemented by Yahoo! and Jones Lang LaSalle resulted in significant annual operational savings, effectively repaying the entire cost of certification, including internal staff time spent on the project, in about 18 months. The program also raised the buildings’ average ENERGY STAR score to 88, meaning that the campus overall is more energy efficient than 88 percent of comparable buildings. Activities to achieve certification included:
• Retro-commissioning building systems to enhance energy performance, utilizing a local utility incentive program that resulted in quick savings and a simple payback of less than five months.
• Constructing an outside air cooling system to improve efficiency of the office data center and raising operating temperatures to 82°F, dramatically reducing annual electricity costs.
• Improving indoor water efficiency by installing low flow faucet aerators and solar powered, ultra low flow urinals, plus using recycled water and drip irrigation for landscaping.
• Reducing light pollution in the evenings, planting adaptive vegetation to match the bordering wetland ecosystem, and using goats to keep open space vegetation under control.
• Documenting a green cleaning product purchasing policy—with a performance level of over 88%—and sustainable food purchasing (including herbs from the company garden).
• Maintaining a robust alternative commuting program that includes vanpools, shuttle buses, transit subsidies, and a bike to work program.
The campus also received a LEED Innovation Credit for Yahoo!’s Green Team & Public Outreach strategy, which includes employee focused activities such as sustainability speakers, a “low carbon diet” program, and green field trips. In addition, Yahoo!’s website, where visitors can find an eco-friendly gift or get green cleaning advice that saves time and money, has been ranked by digital business analytics firm comScore as the top environmental destination on the web.