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Charlotte gets greener in a hurry: Duke Energy Center gets the attention, but LEED buildings list grows monthly
By Peter Meredith Waterless urinals in a 48-floor office tower make a powerful statement in environmental design, but Wells Fargo’s announcement this week that its Duke Energy Center building on Tryon Street been certified LEED platinum is only the latest in a gusher of local LEED certifications. In the first five months of this year, 16 projects in Charlotte received one level or another of certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design criteria established by the U.S. Green Building Council (chart, Page 5). And that doesn’t even include the Duke Energy Center; Marie Coleman, a council spokesperson based in Washington, D.C., said the list had not yet been updated for June. The Duke Energy Center isn’t the first building in Charlotte to earn top-level certification. That was Optima Engineering’s South End office, also on Tryon, which went platinum in June 2009, followed by floors 2 through 6 of the Betsill Building in Ballantyne Corporate Park. A key distinction, however, is that the Duke Energy Center’s certification applies to its core and shell; the other two earned platinum for the interiors only.