Retail Properties of America, Inc. (NYSE: RPAI), one of the country’s largest owners and operators of shopping centers, recently received Silver LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for the Company’s commitment to green environmental practices at the new company headquarters in Oakbrook, IL. The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

RPAI earned Silver LEED certification based on a number of environmentally responsible features:

Site Selection. RPAI moved to a building within walking distance of two public transportation lines and a diverse and dense set of community retail and services, improving the company’s environmental impact.

Energy Conservation. New auto-dimming light fixtures save the company 33.9% of the energy consumed as compared to code-compliant fixtures in a typical office build-out, and all of the equipment installed in the new office is Energy Star certified.

Healthy Materials. The design team specified healthy, low-volatile organic compound paints, adhesives, carpeting, counters and cabinets as well as office furniture and seating. The building also has a green cleaning policy in place to further ensure employee health.

Occupant Comfort. An open floorplan with low partitions for most workspaces and glass sidelights on perimeter offices allow the overwhelming majority of RPAI employees to have views to the outdoors and abundant natural light. The office further supports each employee’s ability to exert control over their work environment with personal desktop lighting.

Green Power. RPAI purchased renewable energy credits to offset the equivalent of the greenhouse gas emissions from electricity that RPAI is expected to consume within its headquarters over the next two years.

Recycling of Construction Materials. RPAI’s contractor sorted unused construction and demolition waste for recycling or reuse—diverting more than 94% of the excess materials away from landfills.

“Becoming Silver LEED Certified is another example of RPAI’s commitment to our employees and the community,” said Steve Grimes, president and CEO of RPAI. “We will continue to support a collaborative office environment that stimulates teamwork and creativity while promoting a healthy and green workspace focused on innovation and results.”

"Building operations are nearly 40% of the solution to the global climate change challenge," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "While climate change is a global problem, innovative companies like RPAI are addressing it through local solutions; we congratulate them on their commitment."

In 2013, over 44,000 projects have participated in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising over 10.4 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 140 countries.

Copyright Business Wire 2010