The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded Milestone AV Technologies’ newly renovated global headquarters and design center a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) Silver certification.
Milestone, home to the Chief, Sanus, Da-Lite and Projecta brands, expanded into the new location in Eden Prairie, MN, earlier this year.
The U.S. Green Building Council developed the LEED rating system to reward designs that reduce environmental impact throughout a range of categories including water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and transportation. Silver certified buildings have reached a designated number of goals toward reducing environmental impacts in these categories.
"LEED Certification is a public commitment to being an environmental steward," said Spes Mekus, principal at Mekus Tanager, the architecture firm behind the project. "It says to employees and the community at large that you are committed to conserving the use of natural resources."
Mekus Tanager designed Milestone’s new space with a focus on sustainability. The first step in sustainability was to rehabilitate a building with unique design features and great natural light. The updated interior of the building includes natural lighting for 95 percent of regularly occupied seated spaces and ENERGY STAR ratings for 95 percent of the equipment in the building. The building’s design also encourages cross-team interaction and collaboration toward new product innovation.
"When deciding to move into a new headquarters in Eden Prairie, it was important for us to reduce the impact on the local environment while creating a more comfortable and productive space for Milestone employees," said Scott Gill, CEO. "We were especially pleased to meet both of these goals by renovating an existing building."
Other examples of sustainable design solutions that Milestone employs in the new headquarters include:
• 30 percent reduction in water usage with the implementation of low flow fixtures
• 5 percent reduction in energy consumption from lighting fixtures
• 15.5 percent of construction materials were made of recycled content
• 89.5 percent of the construction waste was diverted from the landfill and recycled
• use of outside air to cool the building’s data center without using additional energy due to Minnesota’s low ambient temperature
• nearby walking/jogging paths, bicycle storage and shower facilities to encourage alternative ways for employees to commute to work
• location near four major highways as well as the proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit line
Although LEED-oriented construction calls for a higher initial investment, the reduced long-term operational costs of running a building with efficient electrical and mechanical systems offset the price over time.
Mekus noted that LEED certification takes the dedicated cooperation of several key players. Welsh Construction was the general contractor, and Michaud Cooley Erickson handled the mechanical and electrical systems.