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October 15, 2013
Disney Recognized with LEED Awards by the U.S. Green Building Council
By Max Lark, The Walt Disney Company
Throughout our Company’s history, we’ve had a deep appreciation and respect for the world around us.
Whether it’s supporting organizations through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund or our personal efforts to recycle at work and at home, the environment is something we hold near and dear—so much so that it inspires us when we’re building or redesigning our properties around the world.
With this in mind, we’re extremely proud to announce that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable building design and construction, recently awarded The Walt Disney Company with two certificates. The Grand Central Creative Campus (GC3) Phase 2 received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification—the council’s highest honor. This award marks the first Platinum building in the Disney portfolio. The King’s Mountain Technology Center, a Disney property in North Carolina, also received a LEED Silver certification.
One of the major goals of the GC3 Phase 2 project was to expose employees to the benefits of sustainable design and architecture, while raising awareness about water and energy conservation. To accomplish this, touch screen displays can be found in the campus’ commissary, which creates an opportunity for everyone to learn about the greenness of their surroundings. These installations are set up to provide real time, detailed accounts of the energy and water usage, as well as savings throughout the building.
From the design process—which maximized the property’s green space and reduced the building’s footprint—to employing innovative methods in energy conservation, including the installation of photovoltaic panels on the garage (a system that converts sunlight into energy), the GC3 Phase 2 team upheld LEED qualifications from the start of the project. Another interesting component of the building: Drought-tolerant plants beautify the campus, and also reduce irrigation water usage by more than 50 percent.
At the King’s Mountain Technology Center, environmental responsibility was one of the core tenets that guided decisions and actions on design, construction and ultimate transition to production operation. The team used LEED standards as their guide from the early stages of the building process.
Some notable characteristics of the LEED Silver certification include the nature of the site itself in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, and the efficient use of power. In fact, outside air will be used to cool the Data Center at least 50 percent of the total hours per year. Low water usage, not only in the chiller plant but also for site-wide irrigation and storm water maintenance, and the close management of waste disposal also contributed points to the overall LEED Silver certification count. In addition, this level of LEED certification is particularly impressive because the King’s Mountain Technology Center is generally a large energy consumer.
Both awards celebrate our Company’s commitment to not only building green workspaces, but also designing properties that focus on function and sustainability. A big congratulations to all the teams here at Disney who helped make these buildings possible!
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