Year In Review: LEED silver Wells Fargo Plaza

Unico Properties LLC, a real estate investment and operating company that owns Wells Fargo Plaza in Tacoma, announced this year that the Class-A office building has earned a rare Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Wells Fargo Plaza, which serves as the anchor of Tacoma’s Financial District, is the first property in Tacoma to achieve LEED-EB certification. The 308,000-square-foot, Class-A office building is located on Pacific Avenue, between 12th and 13th streets.

Unico’s investment in building improvements include the purchase of 100 percent renewable energy, resulting in 1,337 metric tons of carbon offsets; installing high-performance, low-flow plumbing fixtures which yield a 45 percent reduction in water use; the first commercial composting program in Tacoma’s Central Business District with DM Recycling Company Inc.; lighting efficiency upgrades in the office tower, in the stairwell, in the visitor parking garage and in the Bank level of the building to better capture natural daylight; and an interest-free loan and rebates from Tacoma Power Utility (TPU), which are pending approval, will help make Unico’s investments more economically feasible. Since the retrofitting process began in 2009, approximately $1 million has been invested in sustainable upgrades to Wells Fargo Plaza.

Additionally, Unico installed commercial-grade electric car charging stations in the parking garage of Wells Fargo Plaza. Officially open to the public with no fueling charges initially, the two charging stations at Wells Fargo Plaza offer a concentration for ease of access and quick recharging needs in downtown Tacoma.

Wells Fargo Plaza includes a 25-story office tower, a two-level landscaped plaza with a fountain, a below-grade parking garage, and a parking structure that connects to the office tower with an enclosed atrium walkway. The building offers panoramic views of Puget Sound, Mt. Rainier, the Olympics and the Cascade Mountains. Wells Fargo Plaza was built in 1970 as the home of the National Bank of Washington (now Wells Fargo Bank). The project was initiated by a group of prominent Tacoma-based investors, including George Weyerhaeuser and Ben Cheney, and it was designed by the prestigious San Francisco-based architecture firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

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For related Tacoma Daily Index coverage, click on the following links:

LEED silver designation for Tacoma’s Wells Fargo Plaza (10/06/11) —

City of Tacoma installs 4 charging stations downtown for electric fleet vehicles (09/20/11) —

WSDOT moves closer to electric highway system, selects contractor for 9 charging stations (07/13/11) —

Electric vehicle charging station grant funds available for Tacoma business owners (03/16/11) —

Electric vehicles will join City Hall’s fleet (02/02/11) —

City Council to vote on $2.6M electric fleet vehicle contract (01/21/11) —

A ‘green highway’ through Tacoma? (12/04/10) —

I-5 ‘electric highway’ receives federal funding boost (06/29/10) —