The Center for Light+Space, the New York sales office and showroom for Acuity Brands Lighting, has earned LEED® certification, landing the prestigious gold rating for its midtown-Manhattan location at 5 Penn Plaza. The recognition underscores Acuity Brands Lighting’s industry leadership position and its commitment to sustainable business practices. It also bolsters the Center for Light+Space’s role as an exemplary “green” innovator for the New York City architectural and lighting design community.
The LEED/Gold certification, which represents Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, was presented to Acuity Brands Lighting in the Commercial Interiors category by U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit organization that promotes sustainability in residential and commercial buildings. U.S. Green Building Council recognized the office/showroom at 8th Avenue and 34th Street for its successful implementation of environmentally sound space planning, energy and material use, and indoor environmental quality.
The facility scored the most credits in the “materials and resources” category. For example, credits were earned because most raw materials, furniture and equipment are made of recycled content and were manufactured within a 500-mile radius of the Center. And, Energy Star®-specified devices such as computers and appliances were used exclusively.
Aztec Architects partnered with Acuity Brands Lighting on the project. “The design balances the use of sustainable materials, progressive construction methods, and integration of daylight with advanced lighting equipment. Aztec considers Acuity’s New York City showroom a space that truly captures their corporate culture and commitment to energy efficiency,” said Deborah Walsh, LEED AP, principal, The Aztec Corporation.
Sero Cardamone, vice president of Business Development for Acuity Brands Lighting in New York, said the LEED recognition is especially gratifying given the emphasis that Acuity Brands Lighting, one of the largest lighting manufacturers in North America, places on environmentally focused lighting technology and design.
“As a leader in providing lighting and lighting related solutions,” Cardamone said, “we’ve made an important statement by demonstrating in our own facility and within our own community the kind of sustainability we promote.” He said this sense of “walking the talk” is important within the industry, particularly in New York, which is home to the world’s largest and most influential lighting-design and architectural community – and significant escalation in energy costs.
“Sustainability is an important subject for the architectural community and lighting designers,” Cardamone said, “And they’re trying to make it important to their client base.”
Because much of Acuity Brands Lighting’s industry involvement comes in the way of education and training, Cardamone said, it was especially important for the New York facility – which during its two short years has emerged as a local knowledge center – to follow the LEED prescription. Being up to LEED’s gold standard, the Center for Light+Space now leads by example as it opens its doors for lighting labs, design forums and professional-group meetings.
Vernon J. Nagel, Chairman, President and CEO of Acuity Brands, Inc., said the LEED certification in New York – as well as the LEED/Silver certification received in November 2008 for the Company’s Holophane Product & Market Development Center in Granville, Ohio – shows Acuity Brands Lighting’s commitment in the area of sustainability.
“This is an integral part of our corporate culture,” Nagel said. “Our associates stand eagerly behind developing more sustainable lighting solutions, but they are also committed to supporting sustainability at the local level. We applaud the New York and Granville locations on earning the much-deserved credit for their efforts.”