Last month, SAP North America presented its new office building in Newtown Square, Pa., which was designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum standards, the highest set by the U.S. Green Building Council. This is a significant distinction given that there are less than 125 office buildings in the country to be granted the Council’s highest ranking. The building is under review and SAP hopes to obtain the LEED Platinum rating in 2010.
The new building has also met the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Designed To Earn The Energy Star (DEES) rating. Less than 120 projects have earned the DEES rating since the program began in 2004.
The 200,000-square foot suburban office building features a grass roof, toilets that use rainwater and an air conditioning system that makes its own ice for cooling. The construction was designed by New York-based FXFOWLE Architects, which has been honored with a Sustainability Leadership Award for Design & Development from CoreNet Global, the American Institute of Architects and the International Interior Design Association.
The new building, adjacent to SAP’s existing LEED-certified building, was built with a floor-to-ceiling glass exterior and an open-space plan that takes maximum advantage of daylight. It was designed to reduce water use by utilizing a rain collection system and low-flow bathroom fixtures. The building also features geothermal wells that rely on the constant ground temperature of the earth to both heat and cool areas of the building.
The numerous energy-efficient features will reduce the building's energy use by as much as 49 percent and help enable SAP to meet its carbon reduction goals. The company said it expects to recover the additional cost of building green within seven to 10 years. “The building's design not only significantly reduces its environmental impact, it also provides our nearly 2,000 Philadelphia-area employees with an innovative, state-of-the-art workplace," said Bill McDermott, president, Global Field Operations, SAP AG, and member of the SAP Executive Board.