Aviva building receives ‘gold’ LEED status
January 6, 2011 by David Elbert
Blog post by David Elbert • firstname.lastname@example.org • January 5, 2011
Aviva USA’s new West Des Moines headquarters has received a gold LEED certification by the U.S. Building Council.
Aviva USA’s new 360,000 square-foot insurance headquarters in West Des Moines has received a gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The recognition makes it the largest building in Iowa and fifth largest in the country to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold certification. There are 23 other LEED gold buildings in Iowa and three others in the metro area, according to the Green Building Council.
Aspects of the building that contributed to the award include its use of natural light, renewable woods, Iowa limestone, water efficient fixtures and a solar trash compactor.
Aviva’s 1,300 workers moved into the building in August, and a grand opening was held in October.
“When we first began planning this project, we were targeting silver certification and decided during the construction process to go for gold,” said Aviva USA chief Chris Littlefield.
That was a real challenge, he added, because the building was erected from scratch on a new site, making it ineligible for points that can be awarded from using materials recycled from a previous building on the same site.
Green Building Council chief Rick Fedrizzi praised Aviva’s efforts to control energy consumption and create an environmentally friendly building.
Building operations are nearly 40 percent of the solution to the global climate change challenge, Fedrizzi said. “While climate change is a global problem, innovative companies like aviva are addressing it through local solutions.”
Aviva USA is part of London-based Aviva plc, which says it is the world’s sixth largest insurance group and the first global insurer to become carbon neutral.
Aviva arrived in Des Moines in 2006 when it purchased AmerUs Group, which was created in 1994 by the merger of two Des Moines-based insurers, Central Life Assurance Co. and American Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Other environmentally friendly aspects of the 8-story Aviva building include:
•Motion-sensor and auto-diming lights.
•High-efficiency ventilation systems, with individual air flow controls for each employee.
•A food waste grinding and composting system in the cafeteria.
•A pond system that collects and retains rainwater runoff for irrigation.
•An established wetland habitat on the southwest corner of the campus.
•Priority parking for low-emitting, fuel-efficient and car pool vehicles.