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Miami's Wachovia Financial Center Earns City's First LEED Gold Certification
14 Jan, 2010, Miami
Cushman & Wakefield announced today that the U.S. Green Building Council has recognized Wachovia Financial Center as Miami's first and only office tower to be certified for the prestigious LEED Gold award. The award was presented at a January 14th ceremony on the building's top floor, featuring Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating Systems is the nation's preeminent benchmark for the design, continuation and operation of high performance green buildings.
"Wachovia Financial Center's LEED Gold certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership," said Rick Fedrizzi, U.S. Green Building Council president. "Building operations are 40% of the solution to the global climate challenge, and innovative properties like Wachovia Financial Center are meeting it through local solutions."
"We have been downtown Miami's tallest office tower and most recognized icon for over 25 years," noted Tim Keable, the building's General Manager, "and the Wall Street Journal named us one of the top 10 towers in America. But this award, which puts a single building ahead of everything the city has built over two decades, underscores the excellence of our original design, and the enduring quality that enables us to match and exceed 21st century standards. As Mayor Alvarez noted in his most recent State of the County message, 'We are going green in ways some have never imagined.' And today, as downtown Miami's first and only tower to be certified LEED Gold, Wachovia Financial Center once again raises the bar to which every other office tower can now aspire."
Designed by Skidmore, Ownings and Merrill, the 55-story Wachovia Financial Center (WFC) is the tallest building in downtown Miami, and at just over 1.2 million square feet it is by far the largest. It is owned by institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
"Miami-Dade County is focused on making sure our green efforts stretch beyond the confines of county government, and properties like the Wachovia Financial Center are helping us succeed in this effort," said Mayor Carlos Alvarez. "The Gold certification is a milestone achievement and an example for other local businesses and industries to follow."
Virtually a city within a city, with nearly 4,000 occupants on an average day, the tower has its own newsstand, banks, restaurants, dry cleaner, salon -- even a U.S. Post Office. And the iconic 30,000 sq.ft. outdoor plaza -- now undergoing renovation -- may be downtown's most popular urban park. The tower is also home to the Downtown Athletic Club, the city's finest full-service fitness center and the exclusive Miami City Club, the penthouse level sanctuary for business dining.
A pro-active philosophy of investing in energy-saving upgrades, combined with an on-going commitment to optimizing building operations, has enabled WFC to meet the rigorous LEED certification standards. While several new downtown buildings under construction have applied for and begun the process, WFC's LEED Gold certification is based on actual, proven operations in an occupied, functioning building, and takes a long period of success to achieve. To date WFC is one of only two existing buildings in Florida to reach the Gold level.