Skanska USA, the U.S. division of Swedish construction giant Skanska AB, is retrofitting the 32nd floor of the Empire State Building in pursuit of a LEED for Commercial Interiors Platinum rating from USGBC. Ranked by Engineering News-Record as America’s number 1 green contractor for 2007, Skanska USA’s area general manager Steve Pressler explained the firm’s philosophy behind the move in a press release, noting that Skanska’s “push for Platinum LEED certification not only aligns with our core business philosophies, but demonstrates to our current and existing clients our commitment to the green movement.”
The construction giant signed a deal for a 15-year lease on the tower’s 32nd floor. Skanska will take 24,400 square feet upon moving from its current headquarters at 136 Madison Avenue. A team from CB Richard Ellis negotiated the lease terms. Details about the space’s specific green features do not appear available yet. The 102-story Empire State Building offers 2.7 million square feet of office space at 350 Fifth Avenue in Midtown.
Skanska’s move is the second in recent weeks to include plans for LEED certification within the Empire State Building. As we noted previously, BBG-BBGM announced that it would be the tower’s first tenant to seek a LEED rating, aiming for -CI Silver during the 32,000-square-foot fitout of the 25th floor. We’ll see if Skanska’s decision to go for Platinum within such a high profile space drives other tenants to make similar commitments to green building practices, whether under LEED-CI or any other system.
ML is short for our weekly Monday LEEDoff™ column, which typically profiles a different LEED project generally in (but not limited to) the New York City area. You can access an archive of profiled projects via this link.