Cherokee, a private equity firm that specializes in the sustainable redevelopment of environmentally impaired properties worldwide, received Platinum certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system for its new corporate headquarters.
The firm's Platinum-certified headquarters is in a 100-year-old historic building in downtown Raleigh, N.C. Cherokee worked with local groups Tise-Kiester Architects, Empire Hardhat Construction, Carter & Burgess and Thompson Consulting to rehabilitate the former furniture warehouse into an innovative, award-winning green building that is fitted with hundreds of environmentally responsible and high performance features.
Cherokee's new office is one of only 61 LEED Platinum projects in the world and the first ever in North Carolina. Only 6 percent of the LEED-certified projects worldwide are designated with Platinum status. Moreover, Cherokee was excited to learn that its headquarters is only one of a few known historic renovations worldwide that have earned this distinct honor and is the first LEED-certified building in the city of Raleigh.
The new facility incorporates energy-saving concepts such as a highly insulated, reflective roof to reduce heat gain, ENERGY STAR-certified office equipment and efficient lighting systems; water-saving features including efficient faucets and waterless urinals; and healthy indoor air quality features that include zero- or low-VOC paints, adhesives, sealants, furniture, and carpeting. Additionally, important green decisions were made in regards to proximity of the site to public transportation, and the building includes showers and bike storage to encourage additional alternative transit options. Moreover, 86 percent of the construction and demolition waste — an estimated 25 tons — was diverted from the landfill.
The urban office space retains 60 percent of the existing building interior, and when compared to traditional buildings it reduces water use by roughly 45 percent and energy use by 25 percent. It provides 90 percent of occupants with natural light and views to the outdoors. In addition, the office workstations use 82-percent recycled content.