SOURCE: Hearst Corporation

Hearst Corporation

March 05, 2012 10:30 ET

Hearst Tower Upgraded From Gold to Platinum

Manhattan Headquarters for Hearst Corporation Is the First Commercial Building in New York City to Achieve Both LEED® Gold for New Construction and LEED® Platinum for Existing Buildings; Achieves Highest Possible Rating for Sustainable Building Operations and Best Maintenance Practices

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Mar 5, 2012) - U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) President, CEO and Founding Chair Rick Fedrizzi, and Hearst Corporation CEO Frank A. Bennack, Jr., today announced that Hearst Tower is the first commercial office building in New York City to be recognized by the USGBC for achieving both LEED Gold for new construction and LEED Platinum for the operations and maintenance of its existing building.

Established by the USGBC and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), LEED is a voluntary, consensus-based global rating system for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. In 2006, Hearst Tower became one of the first green office buildings in City history, and now with this second certification, Hearst has been awarded the highest possible rating for sustainable building operations and best maintenance practices.

Through this program, as well as energy efficiencies built in the Tower and regular evaluation of energy saving measures over the years, Hearst has reduced its total energy consumption by 40% -- putting the company in the top 10% of efficient commercial office buildings in the country. In addition, the company reduced total waste going to the landfills by 82% and became the first commercial office building in New York City to adopt an extensive composting program which composts 100% of its wet food waste. Hearst also has 100% use of reclaimed non-potable rainwater for hardscape/sidewalk cleaning and controlled water usage throughout the building that has reduced water usage at Hearst Tower more than 30% annually.

"Receiving this recognition from the USGBC is no small accomplishment and one all Hearst employees should take great pride in," Bennack said. "I would like to thank the LEED project team and everyone who has worked so hard to carry through on the forward-thinking vision that went into the creation of this Tower. As we begin to celebrate a remarkable 125 years since our company was founded, this certification of excellence is the most fitting tribute to William Randolph Hearst for it embodies everything he stood for, and reflects the company's commitment to being grounded in the past and inspired by the future."

"Hearst revolutionized the New York City skyline when it first earned LEED certification in 2006, and five years later it upholds its commitment to striving for high performance through green operations and maintenance," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. "We applaud Hearst Corporation for the role it is playing to raise the bar everywhere for what we should expect from our built environment."

"Mayor Bloomberg has made the integration of sustainability and economic development a hallmark of his administration, and we are thrilled that Hearst Tower has become the first commercial office building in the city to achieve LEED Platinum status," Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steel said. "On behalf of Mayor Bloomberg, congratulations to Frank Bennack and the entire team at Hearst not only for this important sustainability accomplishment, but also for 125 years of success in New York City and around the world."

"We're so proud of the recent accomplishments of Hearst Corporation," said New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. "The company's actions are helping the City achieve its PlaNYC goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Hearst has set a great example and we look forward to seeing other buildings follow in its footsteps."

In order to achieve Platinum using the LEED for Existing Buildings: O&M rating system, Hearst Tower went through an extensive three month performance period process for the certification, which included: re-commissioning of all its major HVAC systems to identify all opportunities for improvements and addressing them; an energy audit to reveal low-to-no-cost energy efficiency measures and capital improvement measures; implementation of a high performance green cleaning program; a waste audit to measure how much trash is going in and out of the building and to the landfills (composting and recycling programs); and an indoor air quality audit to identify areas to improve on air quality in the building. All audits were performed and more stringent policies were implemented in the areas of energy efficiencies, water efficiencies and indoor air quality.

The Hearst LEED project team was led by Senior Director of Corporate Real Estate Lou Nowikas and LEED Project Manager Victor Liu. The team worked with its building partner, Tishman Speyer, which helped the Hearst Corporation originally construct the building and has managed it since it opened in a highly energy efficient, healthy and sustainable manner. Other partners included: Flack + Kurtz Engineering; ABM Cleaning Services; IESI Waste Services; Tea Environmental, IAQ services; and YRG Sustainability Consulting.

About Hearst Corporation
Hearst Corporation (www.hearst.com) is one of the nation's largest diversified media and information companies. Its major interests include ownership of 15 daily and 37 weekly newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News and Albany Times Union; hundreds of magazines around the world, including Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, ELLE and O, The Oprah Magazine; 29 television stations, which reach a combined 18 percent of U.S. viewers; ownership in leading cable networks, including Lifetime, A&E, History and ESPN; significant holdings in the automotive, electronic, medical/pharmaceutical and financial information industries; Internet and marketing services businesses; television production; newspaper features distribution; and real estate.