150-Year-Old Union Pacific LEEDs the Way

Union Pacific's headquarters, the 19-story Union Pacific Center in Omaha, has received Silver certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Existing Buildings rating system. This achievement places 150-year-old UP at the top of the heap: The building is the largest LEED certified building in Nebraska and only the second building in the state to earn LEED Existing Building certification, according to its Feb. 14 announcement.

Union Pacific Center was completed in 2004. It houses 1,318,471 square feet, has a capacity of approximately 4,000 employees, and has a 76 ENERGY STAR rating indicating the building is more energy efficient than 76 percent of similar U.S. office buildings. "Wise energy use is just as important in our office buildings as it is operating our trains," said Jim Young, UP's chairman and CEO. "As Union Pacific celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2012, our employees more than ever are committed to and engaged in environmental stewardship. We are proud of achieving this LEED certification."

The building received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification based on:

  • Optimizing energy performance by completing projects to save 741,455 kilowatt hours annually, reducing energy consumption by 3 percent.
  • Reducing potable water consumption by 550,000 gallons in 2011 compared with 2010.
  • Improving the energy efficiency of the building's lighting by using bulbs that have 50 percent less mercury content and longer life, as well as LED lighting that eliminates mercury.
  • Recycling 81 percent of all construction waste.
  • Purchasing 88 percent of office furnishings that meet LEED sustainability criteria.
  • Increasing solid waste recycling from 53 percent to 68 percent, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills.
  • Implementing a green cleaning program that emphasizes using sustainable cleaning products having a lower environmental impact. According to UP, 77 percent of all cleaning products meet standards for sustainability.

Posted by Jerry Laws on Feb 15, 2012