Expedia Tower Gets LEED® Gold Certified

Bellevue’s Hines Expedia Tower has received gold-level certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Core & Shell from the United States Green Building Council. The 20-story office building-which is the first newly constructed office building in Bellevue to achieve LEED® Gold certification-was designed by LMN with a focus on creating a healthy, comfortable, and enjoyable indoor environment for workers.

Located in the heart of Bellevue’s central business district, the Hines Expedia Tower is home to Expedia’s corporate office, which moved there at the end of 2008.

LMN designed the building with a focus on utilizing daylight to create the best possible work environment for tenants. A glass façade and full-height windows maximize views west to Lake Washington and the Olympics, south to Mt. Rainier, and east to the Cascades. Tenants of the Hines Expedia Tower also have access to the tower’s half-acre outdoor plaza, which is landscaped with native, drought-tolerant plants.

“Many people don’t realize that measures taken to work in concert with the environment often benefit those working inside the facility as well,” says Walt Niehoff, partner at LMN. “A cleaner, more enjoyable indoor environment improves not only the health of workers, but also their creativity, productivity, morale and essentially the bottom line of their employers.”

International real estate firm Hines, the building’s owner and developer, is well known for its commitment to sustainable building and development. One of the key concerns for Hines with the design of the Hines Expedia Tower was to optimize the life-cycle costs associated with building operation.

“In the sustainable design for this project, there is no single feature that stands out from the others,” says Ty Bennion of Hines. “Instead, the project is notable for all of the small moves that contributed to the end result. Thanks to the genuine commitment from each and every project partner, we were able to reach the Gold level.”

The contractor contributed to the certification by recycling 89 percent of construction waste, as well as in the procurement of recycled building materials. Earlier this year, the Hines Expedia Tower earned the “Designed to Earn Energy Star®” mark, a new Energy Star program to encourage buildings in the design phase to exceed a benchmark energy performance threshold. And in early 2006, the project received the first LEED-CS (Core and Shell) pre-certification on the West Coast.