FedEx pursues LEED certification for new buildings

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FedEx Express announced that it has made LEED Certification the standard for its newly-built U.S. facilities. LEED, the green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, is a benchmark for buildings that are designed, constructed and operated sustainably. The newly-constructed FedEx Express facility in Las Vegas, Nev., is the first facility in the company to receive LEED certification, followed closely on its heels by FedEx Memphis-based World Headquarters LEED Gold certification under the USGBC’s LEED for Existing Buildings Rating System.

“FedEx is taking another step toward our goal to conserve energy, help the environment and create better places for our customers and team members,” says Don Colvin, vice president of properties and facilities at FedEx Express. “This certification is third-party verification that FedEx is being a good steward of the planet.”

FedEx Express says its Las Vegas LEED Gold building is designed to reduce indoor water use by 49 percent through low flow plumbing fixtures rather than merely “code-compliant” fixtures. Energy savings, due to design elements such as skylights and evaporative cooling, are 42 percent higher than a similar building without these features. During construction, 86 percent of all construction waste was diverted through recycling and reclamation of materials. More than 75 percent of regularly-occupied spaces are sunlit to reduce the need for electric lights and provide better workspaces.

“LEED Gold certification is a significant accomplishment for our Las Vegas facility, which includes a package-sorting warehouse, vehicle maintenance bay and an office building,” says Stephen Mangin, project architect with FedEx Express. “That’s a lot of variables to work through. In addition to the water, energy and waste reduction benefits, the natural lighting throughout is a huge workplace environment bonus.”

The new LEED certification requirement also underwent internal review to ensure it meets the goals of the FedEx EarthSmart Solutions program, a FedEx environmental innovation and branding program encouraging team members to identify innovative solutions and programs that go beyond industry standards to reduce the company’s environmental impacts.