San Francisco — Thornton Tomasetti announced that its San Francisco office has achieved LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors (CI) Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council under its new LEED v4 ratings system. The 15,000-square-foot space is the first CI project in the U.S. to be certified Platinum under the new ratings system and was one of only 25 LEED-CI projects worldwide that participated in the LEED v4 beta program.

LEED Version 4 is the most stringent green building rating system offered by the U.S. Green Building Council and the new benchmark for green design and construction. Through its involvement in this v4 beta program and achieving Platinum level certification, Thornton Tomasetti’s Sustainability practice professionals have further established their expertise certifying sustainable building projects.

Thornton Tomasetti acted as its own LEED consultant and commissioning agent, utilizing the expertise of its Sustainability practice and MEP team. Project partners included architects Gensler, building owner Tishman Speyer, general contractor BCCI and mechanical and electrical design engineers Guttmann & Blaevoet.

To achieve a Platinum rating, the San Francisco office earned 80 points out of a possible 110. Areas of building design and construction that were key to the Platinum rating included: energy performance, advanced metering, enhanced commissioning, daylighting analysis/views and interior materials and furnishings.

The Thornton Tomasetti team was able to achieve 30 of 38 available credits in the Energy & Atmosphere category. Despite being located in an iconic 1964 building, which cannot be made equivalent to the ASHRAE 90.1 – 2010 baseline, the office was awarded 21 of the 25 possible Optimize Energy Performance credits.

In LEED v4, enhanced commissioning (Cx) has stepped up significantly to include options for enclosure Cx (BECx) and monitoring-based Cx. Thornton Tomasetti followed the monitoring-based option and its approach utilized both BMS signals collected through the HVAC direct digital controls (DDC), as well as tenant-managed electrical metering and monthly data analysis. The team received perfect scores for Enhanced Commissioning as well as Advanced Energy Metering and Green Power and Carbon Offsets.

The project earned 100 percent of available credits in the Location and Transportation, Innovation and Regional Priority categories. Although limited by base-building fixture standards, the project achieved 50 percent of points (six out of 12) for water efficiency, saving 35 percent more water than code requires. 

Six LEED points out of a possible 13 were earned for the stringent material ingredient reporting and leadership practices in sourcing of raw materials. These totally new LEED requirements were not yet adopted by many manufacturers when materials were being specified. The office was also designed for convenient separation of occupant waste into three streams: landfill waste, recyclable materials and composting.

The San Francisco office marks Thornton Tomasetti’s sixth LEED certification in five of its offices. The Kansas City, Chicago, Philadelphia and Denver offices are LEED Gold certified and an expansion project in Chicago earned a LEED Platinum rating. Two other offices are slated to receive certifications this year. The firm’s corporate sustainability policy calls for all new offices and major renovations of 4,000 square feet or more to seek LEED CI certification at the gold level or higher.

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