GBBN’s United Way Project Earns LEED Certification

GBBN Architects has been notified by the US Green Build Council (USGBC) that its United Way of Greater Cincinnati project has met the criteria and earned (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) LEED Certification for Commercial Interiors.

LEED-certified buildings are designed to lower operating costs and increase asset value, reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve energy and water, be healthier and safer for its occupants, as well as help reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are thrilled to learn that the United Way of Greater Cincinnati project completed in 2011 has been recognized as LEED Certified,” said Steve Kenat, AIA, LEED AP, principal in charge of the renovation project. “It was a goal of GBBN’s and the United Way from the very beginning to make sure the project be innovative with its use of sustainable design, provide healthy indoor spaces for its occupants, and reinforce our shared missions of being environmentally mindful.” He added, “UWGC’s mission is to build sustainable communities, and it was great that GBBN had the opportunity to help them do that in a sustainable building.”

The renovation to the historic building positioned the United Way and their agency tenants with better staff workflow and a modern work-environment supportive of the mission they serve. The design included preservation of select historic spaces and finishes, a communicating feature stair, new furniture and branding graphics. The highly sustainable new systems and finishes are anticipated to reduce the operations and utilities for the building by 50%.

GBBN created a financial strategy with the UWGC and financial lenders to deliver New Market Tax Credits to fully fund the project, as an alternative to a traditional capital campaign. The benefit of aggressive construction pricing and partially forgiven federal funding brought the project within reach. The project was completed in two phases, allowing the building to remain in operation during renovation.