Vornado Realty Trust recently announced that one of its iconic properties in Chicago, theMART, has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification at the Gold Level. This marks the third LEED Certification for theMART (formerly The Merchandise Mart), having first attained LEED Silver Certification in 2007 and LEED Gold Certification in 2013.
Home to NeoCon each June, theMART encompasses 4.2 million gross square feet, spans two city blocks, rises 25 stories, and is visited by an average of 30,000 people each business day and nearly 10 million people annually. A building this large requires a hefty sustainability program, one that theMART began over 15 years ago complete with energy efficiency retrofits and sound energy management. These programs have resulted in over $1 million of annual cost savings and 23 percent of total energy savings for the building. The building’s energy efficiency is a key contributor to the reduction of theMART’s carbon footprint, eliminating 14,500 metric tons of annual CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to removing 2,400 passenger cars from roadways annually.
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Contributing to LEED certification is the 350-plus bike storage racks that theMART added where parking for 20 cars once existed, as well as its 7,200-square-foot recycling facility. Staff presort and weigh all waste before it leaves the building resulting in 3,245 tons of theMART’s waste stream being recycled last year. theMART also has a building-wide composting program that exceeds 100 tons of compostable waste each year. Building Maintenance Services, LLC, theMART’s janitorial service provider, facilitates the success of the recycling program and employs green cleaning services that promote healthy indoor air quality through responsible cleaning product selection.
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“theMART has a long history with LEED and a close partnership with the USGBC, and we are very proud to maintain our Gold certification status,” said Myron Maurer, chief operating officer at theMART, in a news release. “Like the LEED program, theMART continues to evolve and further its sustainable mission. LEED is a widely respected seal of approval among our tenant partners and the real estate community.”
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