TK Elevator's Innovation and Qualification Center (IQC) in Atlanta, which includes the tallest elevator test tower in North America, has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.
The IQC is the second TK Elevator building in the U.S. to earn this prestigious distinction. In 2015, TK Elevator's North American manufacturing headquarters in Middleton, Tenn., earned LEED Gold certification. While the Middleton facility earned this distinction in the Existing Buildings category, the IQC was recognized in the New Construction category.
Created by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. To achieve LEED Gold certification, the IQC realized a 12% reduction in embodied carbon compared to typical construction through concrete mix optimization by using ground granulated blast furnace slag and fly ash. This approach saved 2.36 million pounds of carbon-dioxide emissions.
The IQC also achieved more than a 40% reduction in potable water use compared to baseline buildings through the selection of efficiency flush and flow fixtures that will save 60,000 gallons of water annually.
As further stated by a press release, the IQC utilizes a smart building metering system, which fully integrates specialty equipment such as HVAC and lighting. The Department of Energy estimates that a building employing this system can realize up to 45% energy savings as the elevators put power back into the building with regenerative drives, reducing the energy load of elevators.
In addition, TK Elevator prioritized the materials used throughout the IQC, installing products that were produced with a high recycled content, reducing the need for raw materials and ensuring natural resources could be preserved.
This includes using carpet comprised of recycled PET plastic, flooring tile verified to have the lowest global warming potential among comparable products, as well as finish materials tested and proven to have low VOC emissions, contributing to a healthier indoor air quality. TK Elevator's own products also complied with many of the materials credits as its elevators boast the industry's first Health Product Declarations (HPDs) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) focused on environmental and human health.
"The material health of elevators has long been a priority for TK Elevator, and today we are keenly focused on lowering operational and embodied carbon in our pursuit of net-zero carbon. In North America, the IQC will serve as a symbol of the built environment's healthier future, and we are excited to earn this rare achievement for our industry," said Monica Miller Brown, LEED AP BD+C, senior sustainability manager for TK Elevator.
The IQC was designed by Gensler, a global architecture, design and planning firm with a portfolio that saves more than 17 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted on a yearly basis.
"The IQC's resourceful and resilient design demonstrates tremendous leadership within the industry," said Gensler principal John Haba, AIA, LEED Green Associate. "The decision to prioritize themes of transparency and sustainability while maintaining a passion for innovation is what has made the IQC a standard for others to emulate."
TK Elevator notes has taken substantial steps toward addressing climate change and carbon reduction in North America. This includes joining the Drawdown Georgia Business Compact, an inclusive and collaborative initiative focused on galvanizing climate action in Georgia. Created by the Ray C. Anderson for Sustainable Business at the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business, the Compact's mission is to leverage the collective impact of Georgia's business community to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in the state by 2050.