The Christman Building

The Christman Building in Lansing, Michigan, is the national headquarters for The Christman Company, a construction management and real estate development firm. Originally built in 1928 and registered as a historic landmark, the former Mutual Building had fallen into a state of disrepair under previous ownership. Christman purchased the building and, using its own team specializing in historic preservation; sustainable design and construction; urban revitalization; real estate development and integrated project planning, “breathed new life into the grand old building.” The project consisted of 92 percent major renovation and 8 percent new construction. Rededicated in February 2008 as the Christman Building, it currently provides office space for Christman and two additional tenants. The Christman is one of the few Triple LEED ® Platinum buildings designated by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environment (LEED) Program. This highest‐level designation through the LEED programs for Existing Buildings Operation and Management (EBOM), Core and Shell (C&S) and Commercial Interiors (CI) is a testament to a full range of sustainable practices guided by LEED but accomplished by Christman. The building is located in a climate zone comparable to Montana, northeast Washington and eastern Idaho, and its age and type are typical of many older buildings in small northwest cities. The measured energy use of this historic structure is now 29 percent better than comparable buildings in the U.S., and its ENERGY STAR® score of 81 out of 100 puts it in the top 20 percent in the U.S. for energy performance.

The Commonwealth Building

Unico Properties bought Portland’s Commonwealth Building in 2007, and turned what might be viewed as a liability into an asset. At the time of acquisition, the Commonwealth Building was approximately 50 percent vacant. Recognizing a unique opportunity, the Unico team implemented a series of energy efficiency upgrades as part of a larger repositioning of the property. With some modest tenant “re-stacking”, improvements were quickly made to the building’s HVAC systems that would have proven more difficult if occupied. Additionally, the design team removed suspended ceilings and improved common areas to increase the property’s appeal to local businesses. Certified with the ENERGY STAR® designation in 2010, the Commonwealth story demonstrates dramatic success in both energy efficiency as well as creating a compelling product in the market.

Adobe Systems Headquarters

The headquarters of Adobe Systems Incorporated in San Jose added occupancy sensor controlled power strips to 3,400 workstations and achieved a 10% reduction from the previous month, saving approximately $15,000 per year. At the corporate campus in Santa Clara, CA, 3Com installed similar plug load controls throughout all cubicles on their campus and now saves an estimated $88,000 per year.

Rice Fergus Miller

In 2009, architecture and interior design firm, Rice Fergus Miller, purchased a 30,000 square foot former Sears Automotive Center, located in downtown Bremerton, WA. After two years and $3.15 million in construction costs, the building achieved LEED® platinum certification and became the most energy-efficient building in the Pacific Northwest. Capitalizing on the building’s location, footprint and shell, the firm was able to reuse 93 percent of the building by utilizing adaptive reuse, and generate a compelling environmental and business story.

Seattle 2030 District

The emergence of the Seattle 2030 District – with its community based focus on energy efficiency - quickly galvanized much of the downtown core of Seattle. Still in the early growth phase, the District has already changed the tenor of conversations among real estate professionals, putting competitive and market pressure on building owners and managers to join and participate. Suddenly, energy efficiency has a much larger profile in the competition for tenants in Seattle.

The Aventine

The Aventine: The Aventine located in La Jolla, CA encountered a challenging leasing environment in the local market. The property owners pursued a renewal of the building’s systems and operations, dramatically reducing operating expenses and fostering renewed interest and competitive advantages.


National and local organizations are beginning to incorporate new green-leasing provisions that require their leased office spaces to meet strict energy-efficiency and sustainability requirements. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), one of the nation’s largest tenants, has adopted green leasing provisions that require all leased office spaces to meet specified ENERGY STAR, plug load, water and utility reporting requirements. And GSA is not alone in their demand for green office spaces, recent studies are showing that more and more corporate executives are considering sustainability criteria in their office location decisions in order to stay competitive, appeal to customers, and compete for talent.


Located in Seattle, WA, the Alley24 building notifies tenants - via email or a green light - to turn off mechanical systems and open perimeter windows when external temperatures enter a specified range. The natural ventilation system has received acclaim from tenants due to the appeal of fresh air in their space. Additionally, tenants have reported improved quality of the work environment and productivity. By implementing daylight harvesting techniques and natural ventilation systems, Alley24’s design strategies helped to achieve a 49 percent reduction in energy consumption in its first year of operation.

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