Leopardo Chicago Office Achieves LEED Silver Certification

Leopardo’s Chicago office has been certified at the LEED v4 Silver for Commercial Interiors (CI) level. This achievement comes on the heels of the space having also recently achieved WELL Gold certification, making it one of the city’s first dual LEED and WELL certified offices. Leopardo worked closely with Partners by Design, Syska Hennessy, ArupHenricksen and WSP USA to achieve this most recent certification.

Occupied in December 2018 and located in the Leopardo-built, LEED Gold certified, 200,000-square-foot, 12-story boutique office building at 210 N. Carpenter St. in Chicago’s Fulton Market, the 24,000-square-foot office started early with the concept of having both a healthy and a high-performing space.

“This achievement completes Leopardo’s pursuit to create a healthy and high-performing space for its Chicago home,” said Leopardo CEO Mike Leopardo. “Its features and operations will benefit the health and wellness of our staff, as well as the company’s impact on the environment.”

Leopardo utilized several innovative strategies in certifying this project, including achieving credit for being located in a LEED-certified building. The project also substituted six credits with those from the LEED v4.1 beta rating system and the ‘crosswalk’ strategy, a pathway of aligning LEED and WELL credits, was utilized to achieve two LEED points aimed at acoustics.

Placing an emphasis on waste management during construction, Leopardo separately recycled metals, paints and paint cans and funneled a portion of its waste through a facility certified by the Recycling Certification Institute. A comprehensive indoor air quality plan was put in place that included the use of low-emitting materials and air quality testing to ensure the space was clear of construction dust, emissions and particulate matter before opening the office to staff. Energy efficiency was achieved using Energy Star appliances and IT equipment, green power and carbon offsets, as well as LED lighting throughout. With numerous in-house LEED APs working together on the project, Leopardo was able to control facets of design aimed directly at achieving its LEED goals and harmonizing credits to be in synergy with the WELL Building Standard.

“This certification is the culmination of years of client projects, dedication, volunteerism and advocacy all geared towards moving the industry toward more sustainable and healthy spaces,” said Leopardo Director of Sustainability Patty Lloyd. “The ability to certify our own space with LEED after helping so many of our valued clients certify their own spaces for the last 15 years has brought it all full-circle.”

Many of the office’s WELL features contributed to the achievement of LEED certification. Located in a dense urban neighborhood, proximity to mass transit satisfied both rating systems, as did the space’s biophilic design, acoustic design, daylighting and occupant surveys. The project was also highlighted in USGBC+ magazine during Greenbuild 2018 and has hosted numerous educational tours of the space since to highlight the benefits of workspaces that are good for both occupants and the environment.

The office features other beneficial elements, such as employee workspaces with ergonomic seating and sit/stand desks, a cafe space stocked with healthy snacks, a wellness room and a game room with a TopGolf simulator. Employees enjoy live plantings equaling more than one percent of the floor area and circadian lighting, which contributed to achieving WELL certification.

As an early adopter of the sustainable construction movement in the Midwest and with an in house team of professionals accredited in multiple rating systems including LEED, WELL, and Living Future, Leopardo is a recognized leader in sustainable building practices with extensive project experience spanning all LEED certification levels and multiple LEED rating systems, as well as both versions of WELL. Since 2005, Leopardo has built more than 50 certified projects encompassing LEED, WELL and Green Globes and has completed over four million square feet of LEED space. Leopardo has been a member of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) since 2007 and a supporter of Illinois Green Alliance, a USGBC Community, since 2008.