La Quinta, Calif. Regency Centers announced that its Jefferson Square shopping center in La Quinta, Calif., received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Core and Shell Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The center, the first LEED-certified project in the city of La Quinta, is anchored by Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, slated to open in fall 2010, and a CVS/pharmacy, which is open for business.
According to Mark Peternell, Regency Centers’ VP sustainability, Jefferson Square’s LEED Gold certification represents a significant milestone for the company.
“We thank the project team, led by KTGY Group, for their commitment to our vision,” he said.
In addition to providing numerous benefits for the environment, Jefferson Square will also offer economic advantages for its tenants, Peternell said.
“This project is not only conserving energy and water and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions, but it will also lower operating costs and provide a healthier environment for our retailers and their patrons,” he explained. According to Peternell, Jefferson Square is expected to reduce its energy use by 35% compared with conventional buildings.
Through a partnership with public utility and third-party engineers, energy models for the center were used to determine the optimal combination of energy-efficiency measures, those that produce the greatest energy savings at the lowest possible cost. Peternell said the energy-efficiency measures will payback in less than one year, after taking into account a rebate provided by the local utility.
“The rebate dollars that we received were the icing on cake, as this is in addition to the on-going energy savings we will see year after year,” he added.
Regency implemented a variety of energy-efficient design strategies to achieve the savings. Because Jefferson Square is located in a desert environment, special care was given to building orientation and the use of shading devices to minimize solar heat gain. In addition to these passive solar strategies, the buildings use high-reflectivity roofing materials to reduce internal heat gain along with high-efficiency HVAC units and insulated low-emissivity glass.
Other steps that Regency Centers took to achieve LEED Core and Shell Gold Certification included preferred parking spaces reserved for hybrid or other low-emitting vehicles and an innovative storm water management system that captures 100% of the post-development run-off and percolates it into the ground.
Additionally, Regency recycled 32 tons, or 89%, of waste generated during construction. The shopping center also provides its tenants with guidelines to encourage the use of sustainability practices in the design, construction, and operation of their stores and restaurants.
Regency has six other shopping center projects currently seeking LEED certification, and will continue to integrate cost-effective sustainable design, construction, and operational practices into its core business initiatives.