By Allison Maynard, Communications Associate

Green building continues to soar to new heights

Published on Written by Posted in LEED


A few months ago, I wrote about how LEED projects all over the world are soaring to new heights, profiling five iconic LEED certified global skyscrapers that are industry leaders in green building. This is not a phenomenon unique to these buildings—some of the world's tallest and most historic buildings are continuing to raise the bar by creating better, high-performing buildings that are safe, healthy, inclusive, smart, productive, efficient, resilient, responsive and, above all, sustainable.

Check out some additional unique projects around the world below!

Aon Center – Chicago, U.S.

Project details: 1,136 feet high, 83 floors (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The Aon Center was awarded LEED Silver certification in 2014 for LEED Operations and Maintenance: Existing Buildings. Built in 1974, the historic Aon Center was once the tallest marble building in the world. Currently the third tallest building in Chicago and the fifth tallest in the U.S., the Aon Center is a 3.2 million square feet tower owned and managed by Jones Lang LaSalle. Green building practices include the Tenants Go Green partnership that JLL established, where building owners, management staff and tenants work together to incorporate best practices, promote sustainability and incorporate energy efficiency initiatives. The partnership helped Aon Center win an ENERGY STAR score of 81, ranking it in the top 20% of similar buildings for energy efficiency nationwide.  

JP Morgan Chase Tower – Houston, U.S.

Project details: 1,002 feet high, 75 floors (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The tallest building in Texas, the JP Morgan Chase Tower is a 1.6 million square foot office building owned and managed by Hines. The tower received LEED Gold certification for LEED for Existing Buildings: Operation and Maintenance in 2010. An industry leader in energy efficiency, the JP Morgan Chase Tower has achieved an ENERGY STAR rating of 91, making it 46% more efficient than the average office building in the U.S. The building also saves $1.48 per square foot in energy costs compared to similar buildings nationwide. The tower has also implemented impressive water efficiency measures, using harvested rainwater to meet 100% of landscape irrigation needs, and saving 3 million gallons of water annually. 

Scotia Tower – Toronto, Canada

Project details: 902 feet high, 68 floors (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

To promote energy efficiency, save on water costs, conserve natural resources and amplify human health and wellbeing, the owners of Scotia Towers decided to pursue LEED certification—and were awarded LEED Gold certification for LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance in 2011. Once the 6th largest building in North America and the 8th largest commercial building in the world to achieve LEED certification, Scotia Plaza is a model of greening a building's operations and maintenance. Sustainability features in place at the tower include a commitment to conserving resources through producing consumer-grade compost from organics and watering plants with rainwater collected from rooftop containers. 

Messeturm – Frankfurt, Germany

Project details: 842 feet high, 64 floors (photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons user ~Phipson~)

Built in 1991, MesseTurm (and it's iconic three-story pyramid) was the tallest building in Europe until it was surpassed in 1997 but it's neighbor, CommerzBank Tower. A post modern interpretation of art deco skyscrapers, MesseTurm became one of the first LEED certified skyscrapers in Europe when it received LEED Silver certification for LEED for Existing Buildings: Operation and Maintenance in 2012. A landmark building that is praised for it's 'timeless elegance,' MesseTurm incorporated several sustainable features to achieve LEED certification, including a free bike program for workers, among other alternative transportation initiatives. 

Torre Mayor – Mexico City, Mexico

Project details: 738 feet high, 55 floors (photo credit: Revitaliza Consultores)

The tallest building in Mexico and the second tallest in Latin America, Torre Mayor achieved LEED Gold certification for LEED for Operations and Maintenance: Existing Buildings in 2013. At 225 meters high with 77,000 million square feet of construction space, the tower is one of the most recognizable buildings in Latin America. The building has a typical occupancy of approximately 8,000 people and an average of more than 1,000 visitors per day. A model for resiliency, the building was designed to withstand an 8.5-magnitude earthquake. Sustainable features also include a storm water collection system that harvests and recovers rainwater for use. Water efficiency measures in place at Torre Mayor have reduced potable water use by 30 percent. 

Manitoba Hydro Place – Winnipeg, Canada 

Project details: 377 feet solar chimney, 21 stories

Manitoba Hydro Place is considered one of the most energy efficient office towers in North America. A key feature of the office and mixed-use project includes a 377 foot-high solar chimney that rises above the top of the building. From the beginning of the project, Manitoba Hydro—an energy corporation—set a very high goal of achieving 65% energy savings in a 688,890 square foot building while also considering the comfort and well-being of its employees. The project initially sought LEED Gold certification but the operation of the building proved more efficient, resulting in LEED Platinum certification instead. (Read about this building in our recent LEED in Motion: Canada report.) 

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