Northfield Stapleton Becomes First Green-Certified Main Street Town Center In The Country

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Main Street at Northfield Stapleton has received the prestigious LEED-CS Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is the Council’s government-recognized, premier sustainability rating system in the building industry. Northfield Stapleton was awarded Silver Certification for its outstanding commitment to sustainable practices, including high-energy efficiency, selection of building materials and advanced construction techniques, and ongoing commitment to water management and indoor environmental quality. The award is based on a point system for achieving levels of sustainability.

The Main Street Town Center, which opened on October 26, becomes the first main street shopping center to receive LEED-CS Silver Certification in the United States.

“To the community, Northfield’s achievement not only means conservation of resources for future generations, it also means a more enjoyable and comfortable place to shop, dine and get together,” said Jon Ratner, director of sustainability initiatives at Forest City. “It means that we have taken every opportunity to make our stores more comfortable and our outdoor spaces more environmentally friendly. We have worked with our tenants to help them create better working conditions for employees and lower operating costs through environmentally-friendly initiatives.”

“We selected Northfield Stapleton as a Core and Shell (CS) Pilot Project in December, 2004, and it has surpassed our hopes and expectations” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC, a community of leaders working to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated. USGBC created the LEED Rating System, which is the national benchmark for high performance green building. It has been named the most credible system in the country by General Services Administration, the landlord for the United States federal government.

“Northfield Stapleton has not only lived up to its commitment to the five criteria for certification, it has also inspired retailers to build their stores to a high set of sustainable standards. Forest City went above and beyond the requirements of the Silver Core and Shell designation by creating a tenant handbook detailing how to build green, along with incentives to do so. We commend their motivation and their knowledge of the green building process,” he added, “which is reflected in the Silver Certificate.”

The five criteria upon which the project was rated include the following: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere efficiency, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality. The Core and Shell designation recognizes that developers cannot mandate building procedures for individual retailers.

“While we realized that we could not tell our tenants how to build their stores, we also recognized that we could encourage their compliance to sustainable development through education and incentives, which is why we conceived our Northfield Sustainability Tenant Incentive Program (NSTIP),” said Brian Levitt, project developer of Northfield Stapleton. “The booklet offers concrete building suggestions, rationale for green building plus more concrete incentives such as site recognition of their efforts, financial incentives in rent for compliance plus advertising advantages.

One of the incentives will be the placement of signs in store windows to indicate tenant commitment to sustainability. Northfield Stapleton is also the largest retail center ever to enroll in the Xcel Design Assistance Program (XDAP), which makes cash incentives available to building owners who follow their green building recommendations.

Educational Value
Forest City also sees sustainability as an opportunity to educate visitors to the center. Toward that goal, Northfield Stapleton will feature 20 14’x20’-foot signs at relevant locations to point out and explain the green features in consumer-friendly language and directional images. The signs, created from salvaged runway signage at the former Stapleton airport, indicate resource savings from specific sustainability programs at the Center.

Signs include the following:

  • Solar Power, indicating buildings that feature solar panels, which generate enough electricity to supply an average home for one year (7,163 kWh).
  • A kiosk where visitors can explore how much electricity Northfield Stapleton’s solar power system is generating and how much pollution it is preventing.
  • High Efficiency Plumbing Fixtures, which explain how waterless urinals, low-flow sensor faucets, and high efficiency toilets work. These types of fixtures at Northfield Stapleton reduce water usage by more than 645,000 gallons per year, enough to fill 180,000 bathtubs.
  • Evaporative Cooling System, showing how cold water is sprayed into the air stream and cools as it evaporates. This system uses 75 percent less electricity than conventional air conditioners.
  • Indoor Air Quality, explaining how Northfield Stapleton utilizes low and zero Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) paints and carpets to improve indoor environments.
  • Daylight Harvesting, indicating how energy usage is reduced by 35 to 40 percent through use of skylights and sensor-monitored lighting fixtures, which not only regulate lighting based on available natural light, but also regulate the on/off features based on room occupancy.
  • Wind Power, explaining how wind turbines provide a clean and renewable source of energy. The energy saved is the equivalent of not driving 876,000 miles and eliminates 800,000 pounds of CO2 emissions.
  • Reflective Roof, showing how white and reflective roofs lower roof temperatures up to 100 degrees Farenheit, keeping the inside of the building cool, reducing peak cooling loads by 10 to 15 percent.
  • High-Efficiency Irrigation, or “smart landscaping,” showing that the Center’s irrigation systems are controlled by computers that monitor soil moisture.
  • Combined with low-water plant species, which use 34 percent less water than conventional landscape designs, this feature saves close to 360,000 gallons of water a year, enough to fill close to 3 million 16-oz. bottles.
  • Site Lighting, a fascinating view of worldwide nighttime light pollution.
  • Storm water Management, showing how runoff from buildings and parking lots can carry pollutants into groundwater systems. At Northfield Stapleton, the drainage flows into a detention pond where pollutants are filtered out before the drain water enters Sand Creek.
  • High Performance Windows, explaining how windows at Northfield Stapleton provide improved insulation in both hot and cold weather, helping reduce energy consumption and adding natural lighting.
  • Salvaged Materials, detailing how the concept of demolition and reuse of materials from the Stapleton airport was critical to the creation of the center and of the Stapleton development.
  • Recycling, explaining that more than 2,500 tons of waste – the equivalent of 1,250 cars – were reused during construction of Northfield Stapleton.
  • Alternative Transportation, demonstrating the effect of vehicle emissions on greenhouse gases and global warming and explaining Northfield Stapleton’s emphasis on other forms of transportation.
  • Local Materials, explaining the advantages of using materials in close proximity to the property.

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