Panasonic Corporation of North America announced that its headquarters at Two Riverfront Plaza has become the first newly built office tower in Newark, NJ to earn both Platinum and Gold LEED certifications. The state-of-the-art, 340,000-square-foot, 12-story Class A office tower was awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for Commercial Interiors. Earlier this year, the building earned LEED Gold Certification for its Core and Shell architecture.
"Panasonic takes seriously its responsibility to support a sustainable future," said Panasonic Corporation of North America CFO Mike Riccio. "We are delighted our headquarters earned both LEED Platinum and Gold Certifications and hope that other buildings planned for the revitalized Newark will be designed to achieve the same demanding environmental and energy standards."
Panasonic Corporation of North America's headquarters building was jointly developed by local companies SJP Properties and Matrix Development Group. The architectural firm Gensler designed the core and shell. The interior architecture, which received LEED Platinum Certification in October, was designed by HLW International. "Sustainability and community outreach can be two sides of the same coin," said Susan Kaplan, HLW International's Director of Sustainability.
The office tower's interior office design obtained the maximum number of points for LEED's "Sustainable Sites" and "Innovation and Design" categories. Eco-oriented strategies that contributed to the company's achievement of LEED Platinum Certification include:its location in a densely built urban area with easy access to public transit, nearby amenities including restaurants, parks and cultural centers, bicycle parking and changing rooms, bountiful natural daylight for nearly all employees and occupancy-sensor lighting controls that turn off lights automatically when employees leave the area. In addition, the certification process took note of the building's over 38% reduction in water use over industry standards, including with low-flow plumbing fixtures, and the 90% installed Energy Star-rated equipment such as Panasonic microwave ovens and other appliances.
In announcing the LEED achievement to Panasonic Corporation of North America employees, CEO Taylor emphasized that taking steps to enhance sustainability and practice careful stewardship of the earth's resources is also good business. Since moving to the heart of Newark's business district, just one block from the largest public transit hub in the state, the company has accomplished a 56% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (equivalent to $660,000 saved as a result of a drop in greenhouse gas-emitting utilities) and has seen a 49% reduction in water use compared to the previous location.