New Jersey’s energy master plan, announced by Gov. Phil Murphy, is set to moderate the state’s reliance on fossil fuels and reach clean energy goals of 50 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050. Statewide goals include targets for transportation, grid infrastructure, workforce development and environmental justice, as well as maximizing energy efficiency in buildings.
By retrofitting existing buildings and upgrading associated equipment, the plan shows the Garden State has the potential to save more than 4 million megawatt-hours of electricity in the residential sector and more than 10 million megawatt-hours in the commercial and industrial sectors by 2029. Furthermore, every new state building construction needs to earn a minimum of LEED Silver certification.
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Based on U.S. Green Building Council data, we took a look at the state’s performance in 2020 from a LEED certification perspective. We’ve found that New Jersey had 30 commercial projects certified in 2020, including offices, K-12 facilities, higher education, lodging, retail and warehouses/distribution centers, accounting for more than 6 million gross square feet. Drilling down to highlight the top office projects that invested in sustainability and energy efficiency features, we’ve compiled the list below.
|Rank||Project Name||Rating System||Rating System||GSF||Certification Level||Points Earned||Address||City|
|1||LG North American Headquarters||LEED v2009||New Construction||350,809||Platinum||81||1000 Sylvan Ave.||Englewood Cliffs|
|2||Verisk||LEED v2009||Commercial Interior||250,000||Gold||60||545 Washington Blvd.||Jersey City|
|3||Chubb Whitehouse Station – Building A||LEED V4||Existing Building||238,000||Gold||70||202 Halls Mill Road||Whitehouse Station|
|4||Chubb Whitehouse Station – Building B||LEED V4||Existing Building||190,000||Gold||62||202 Halls Mill Road||Whitehouse Station|
|5||J&J MD&D Bridgewater||LEED v4.1||Existing Building||129,300||Gold||64||430 U.S. 22||Bridgewater|
|6||Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. Project||LEED v4||Commercial Interior||115,623||Gold||61||110 Edison Place||Newark|
|7||Triad 1828 Center||LEED v4||New Construction||705,000||Silver||52||2 Cooper St.||Camden|
|8||BAC 525 Washington Floors 10 17 18 19||LEED v4||Commercial Interior||94,960||Silver||50||525 Washington Blvd.||Jersey City|
|9||EarthCam Headquarters||LEED v2009||Commercial Interior||11,474||Certified||43||650 E. Crescent Ave.||Upper Saddle River|
Source: U.S. Green Building Council
1. LG North American Headquarters – LEED Platinum
The 350,000-square-foot campus at 1000 Sylvan Ave. in Englewood Cliffs earned the highest level of LEED certification for new construction under LEED v2009 in March 2020, with a scorecard of 81 points.
The project broke ground in 2017 but went back to the drawing board in 2009. The $300 million development is greater in length than in height. The compromise stemmed out of the need to preserve the iconic vistas and integrity of the Palisades Park. To do so, the 1,300-foot-long building boasts a five-story north wing and just a three-story south wing; it uses landscape lighting and other design features to further reduce the visual impact and keep the park-like setting below the tree line of the historic landmark.
The building is served by a 1,500 megawatt-hour photovoltaic solar array and is surrounded by 1,500 trees. Moreover, through the project, five wetlands on the site have been restored and mitigated and a retention pond for stormwater collection was created to reduce site runoff into natural areas and nearby properties. The LG building is bird-friendly—the developers created a substantial restoration habitat and followed the National Audubon Society’s guidelines for bird protection.
2. Verisk – LEED Gold
Following an extensive improvement program, the company’s headquarters—built in 2001—received the LEED Gold certification under the Commercial Interior rating under LEED v2009, with a scorecard of 60 points.
According to CommercialEdge data, Verisk is a tenant in the Harbor Group International’s 861,000-square-foot, 22-story midrise at 545 Washington Blvd. in Jersey City, N.J., where it occupies 250,000 square feet. The renovation featured the installation of motion-detection and daylight-harvesting LED lighting, the recalibration and recommissioning of HVAC systems, installation of water-saving fixtures, procurement of new Energy Star-rated appliances and equipment, as well as the use of recycled content and low-emitting materials.
3 & 4. Chubb Whitehouse Station, Buildings A & B – LEED Gold
Chubb’s twin office buildings in Whitehouse Station achieved their first LEED Gold certifications for Existing Building under LEED V4 in February 2020, with scorecards of 70 and 62 points, respectively.
The two buildings were completed in 2003 and are positioned on a nearly 55-acre lot. The LEED certifications were the result of sustained efforts to maximize the buildings’ energy efficiency, which included switching to LED lighting and environmentally conscious cleaning supplies. Furthermore, acres of manmade wetlands featuring local vegetation and wildlife surround the buildings, adding to the assets’ sustainability endeavors.
5. J&J MD&D Bridgewater – LEED Gold
Johnson & Johnson’s 129,300-square-foot asset in Bridgewater received the LEED Gold recertification for Existing Building under LEED v4.1 in September 2020, with a scorecard of 64 points. The first LEED award dates back to 2015 when the asset was LEED Certified.
The 1988-built property has been under Johnson & Johnson’s ownership since 2001, according to CommercialEdge data. While no official data was released on the sustainability features and energy efficiency upgrades performed at the property, Johnson & Johnson has been a long-time advocate for the LEED green building rating system, and, in 2019, about 13 percent—the equivalent of 8 million square feet—of its built space was LEED-certified. In addition, the company set a goal to build all new J&J facilities according to LEED standards.
6. Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. Project – LEED Gold
The chocolate and candy giant leases 115,623 square feet in Edison Properties’ 450,000-square-foot property, and, in November, the company won the LEED Gold certification for Commercial Interior under LEED v4 for the space it occupies, with a scorecard of 61 points.
The building, known as Ironside Newark, was initially built in 1907 as the Newark Warehouse Co. Building, a facility that was used to accommodate railroad freight storage. The historic warehouse was recently retrofitted into a central business hub with a retail component. It benefits from a prime location, just steps away from mass transit hub Newark Penn Station, and is close to Newark Liberty International Airport, with direct access to the Mulberry Commons Park. Since Mars Wrigley occupies the top three floors of the seven-story property, it benefits from the rooftop green space that offers views of Manhattan.
7. Triad1828 Centre – LEED Silver
The 18-story office property was completed in 2019 and received the LEED Silver certification in October 2020 for New Construction under LEED v4, with a scorecard of 52 points.
The property, located just behind the American Water headquarters, is occupied by NFI, The Michaels Organization and Conner Strong & Buckelew. NFI is the property owner. The structure comprises seven levels of parking with nine steel-framed floors for office and amenities atop the parking. In addition, it boasts a piazza on the rooftop, able to accommodate 1,000 occupants, a helipad and private executive suites on the top floors.
8. Newport Tower/partial – LEED Silver
Floors 10 and 17 through 19 of Newport Tower received the LEED Silver certification for Commercial Interiors under LEED v4, with a scorecard of 50 points. The entire 1.1 million-square-foot property was first awarded a LEED Gold certification in 2011 and was recertified in 2016.
The massive 37-story tower was built in 1993, designed by architects Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut & Whitelaw. It underwent cosmetic renovations in 2005 and 2010. Currently, BentallGreenOak’s asset is under renovation again, estimated to be finalized in 2021. The property management team invested in energy efficiency upgrades, carbon emission reductions, waste diversion and water conservation. The property has maintained an Energy Star rating of 77 or higher since 2010. Notable tenants in the high-rise include BNP Paribas, HGK Asset Management, China Construction America and ViewTrade.
9. EarthCam Headquarters – LEED-Certified
The 11,474-square-foot space was LEED-Certified in August 2020 for Commercial Interiors under LEED v2009, with a scorecard of 43 points.
The property was originally built in 1985 and was known as Texwipe corporate campus. The revamp focused on the original designs of landscape architect James Rose, the initiator of landscape architecture’s modern revolution in the 1930s. Texwipe relocated in 2001 and the site was left abandoned until 2013 when EarthCam acquired the campus. The exquisite restoration work of The James Rose Center, EarthCam, Davis Brody Bond, Spacesmith and Vanessa DeLeon Associates was rewarded by the American Society of Landscape Architects with an Honor Award in the category of Historic Preservation/Restoration.