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How To Keep Your Building Class A

Sustainability and health and wellness certifications can help developers, building owners and building operators attract and retain tenants. 

Built in 2009, 155 North Wacker, a Class A building, attracted tenants with ease. Column-free floorplates, plentiful views with daylight, state-of-the-art amenities and a coveted LEED Gold sustainability certification led to this success.

Ten years later, the building was feeling the competition, especially with a new state-of-the-art building next door, sister development,151 North Franklin. In 2019, 155 North Wacker underwent an extensive renovation to improve thermal comfort, indoor air quality and reduce utility bills by implementing monitoring-based commissioning and Chicago’s first HVAC Load Reduction technology. In addition, the building’s amenity spaces were modernized by ESD.

Following the renovations, the building hired ESD to pursue three rating systems to market its efforts and prove that it could still compete with the best in the Chicago real estate market. The certifications/ratings achieved include:

A significant achievement all in one year. The result? 155 North Wacker remains a Class A building, attracting tenants due to the building’s sustainable and healthy offerings.

Tips to Create a Sustainable and Healthy Building
With a growing number of certifications and ratings available to combat climate change and create a healthy building, one thing is for certain, the market will continue to focus on verified performance and data to help meet internal and external demands as they relate to sustainability and reopening confidence.

The table below explains the benefits each rating system provides and tips on how to get started.


Reach out to Tim, ESD’s Senior Envelope & Healthy Buildings Specialist, for answers to any questions you have regarding sustainability and health and wellness certifications.

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