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Forest City Washington, Inc. announced today that it has attained an elite sustainability status for its entire 42-acre, mixed-use, waterfront project within the District of Columbia known as The Yards. The designation, from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), gives The Yards the distinction of now having a LEED Gold Certified Neighborhood Development Plan as a result of the project plan’s Stage Two design approval.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across the spectrum of significant environmental metrics including energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. The LEED for Neighborhood Development (ND) program establishes high standards of integrating smart growth concepts, new urbanism and green building principles for entire communities.
Located in the heart of the burgeoning Capitol Riverfront district, bounded by the waterfront, M St. SE, First St. SE and the Washington Navy Yard, The Yards will feature over 2,800 new residential units, 1.8 million square feet of office space, 400,000 square feet of retail space and a world-class riverfront park. The public park, currently under construction, will open in summer 2010 as the project’s initial element.
“We’re very pleased and excited that The Yards’ plan achieved Gold certification at the Stage Two level ,” said Deborah Ratner Salzberg, president of Forest City Washington, Inc.. Our company is always striving to create communities with strong sustainability programs and this latest designation provides us with a great milestone to continue our efforts.”
Sustainability is one of the stated corporate Core Values of Forest City Enterprises, Inc. The company had developed internal sustainability standards, based upon LEED guidelines, for all new development projects and is constantly exploring ways to green its portfolio of existing properties across the country.
Presently, Forest City Enterprises has 16 residential, commercial and mixed-use projects that have already been certified as LEED Gold, Silver or targeting these levels through design and construction. The company also has several Energy Star certified properties, as well as properties targeting Energy Star certification including office buildings and homes within military/mixed-use developments. In addition, the company’s property portfolio includes an NAHB Green Certified residential loft development as well as several properties that have received various state/local green building and sustainability certifications.
The Company’s other major project within the District of Columbia, Waterfront Station in Southwest DC, features two all-new office buildings (over 628,000 SF total) that will be the home to several agencies of the DC government when they open in March 2010. Both buildings are targeting a LEED Gold designation.