In recent years, the
in downtown Minneapolis has been working to be as green as possible.
With that in mind, Ryan Cos.
, a commercial real estate firm that manages the property, decided to up its game by pursuing LEED
gold status through the U.S. Green Building Council, which rates the design, construction, and operation of green, energy-efficient buildings.
The process took a little over a year for the 1992-built tower, which, standing at 776 feet, is one of the tallest in the Midwest, according to company information.
It helped that the skyscraper already had a high rating through the government-supported Energy Star
program, according to Ted Campbell, a senior property manager for Ryan Cos. "We felt well positioned with enhancements we'd already done," Campbell said, adding, "We had a target and we achieved it."
To visually convey its achievement, the building's decorative crown,
which can be seen from afar, now gives off a green glow (it used to be
And, although the certification was hard-won, Campbell says, the company felt it was the "right thing to do and the right way to operate the building."
In working towards the certification, Ryan Cos. found many ways
to reduce its waste and increase energy efficiency, with upgraded
mechanical, water, and lighting systems, according to company
information. It also "overhauled the building's cleaning products and
processes," according to company information.
By swapping out
aging lavatory fixtures and installing new aerators on water faucets
throughout the building, the developers achieved a 14 percent decrease in
water usage during this period, or 1.3 million gallons of water--equal to $10,000 annually,
according to company information.
Becoming more sustainable is something that struck a chord with tenants,
who are also encouraged to implement environmental practices in their
offices. "It's a lifestyle change, a change of process, and one for the
better," with better air quality, energy efficiency and dollar savings
as just some of the benefits, Campbell says.
Additionally, LEED gold status gives the tower some marketing leverage.
"As we compete for tenants in a difficult market, this is one more
thing for us to check off on the list of must-haves," he says. "We're in
a position to compete for tenants out there."
As proof of that, 350,000 square feet of new, expansion, or renewal leases have
taken effect at the tower over the past 18 months, according to company
Source: Ted Campbell, senior property manager at Capella Tower through Ryan Cos.
Writer: Anna Pratt