Spokane Journal of Business

Avista garners LEED gold status for headquarters floor upgrades

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Avista Corp., of Spokane, says it has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, of Washington D.C., for the fifth-floor renovation of its headquarters building, at 1411 E. Mission.

The renovation took place in 2008 and 2009 as part of an ongoing $25 million overhaul of all of Avista's facilities on its headquarters campus and is aimed at bringing those structures up to modern energy-efficiency standards, says Rodney Staton, project manager in Avista's facilities department.

"It's an opportunity for us to be energy efficient in our own building, just as we preach that to the community," Staton says. "We're beginning to 'walk the talk.'"

Work on the fifth floor began by installing thermal-pane windows with reflective coating. The walls, floors, and ceilings were stripped bare so a more efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system could be installed, along with a fire sprinkler system. Also, more efficient toilets and appliances were installed.

Lindsay Miller, associate project manager at Avista, says that to achieve LEED certification, she saved every receipt for recycling of waste building materials from the floor. All of the wood used in the renovation also had to have documentation showing that it was grown and harvested in an environmentally sustainable fashion.

"We have to document our choices in great detail," Miller says.

The fourth floor also has been renovated, and Avista is working on getting the LEED certification for that work as well. Improvements currently under way on the third floor mirror what has been done on the fourth and fifth, Staton says.

The Spokane office of Seattle-based McKinstry Co. is the contractor for the overall project. Work on the upgrades started in 2007 and is scheduled to continue through 2014 or 2015.

When completed, the project should save Avista $149,000 a year in electricity costs, Staton says.

  • Kim Frlan

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