Zaļā 1 becomes first office building in use in Latvia to upgrade its LEED certificate from gold to platinum

Zaļā 1 is an A-class office building in Riga’s quiet center. It was put into operation in 2010, and in 2016 the quality of its maintenance was evaluated with the gold-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certificate. As a result of re-certification this year, Zaļā 1 was awarded the highest-level, platinum certificate, proving the importance of high-quality maintenance and a change of the building’s employees’ habits, which have become increasingly sustainable.

Zaļā 1 is in the former A.G. Rūtenbergs Tobacco Factory, which has been built in 1899 and reconstructed in 2010, transforming it into a five-story A-class office building with 3,600 m2 of gross leasable area. In 2016 the building was awarded the Gold certificate according to the LEED EBOM (Existing Building Operations and Maintenance) program for existing buildings in use, acknowledging the building’s sustainability and top-level maintenance. The rules of the program require re-certification every five years to make sure the building has not lost its quality, thus ensuring that the certificate is consistent with the existing state of the building.

Vastint Latvia Managing Director Romāns Astahovs: “There is a misconception that putting a building into operation means the completion of the project. In fact, this is when the whole work begins, because keeping a building its fine state is a great challenge. As a developer, we are responsible for high-quality maintenance, and we are glad that our efforts to take it to an even higher level have been appreciated. But when it comes to winning certificates, the people working in office buildings are playing an increasingly important role as they change their habits over time, switching to environmentally friendlier means of transport in their day-to-day lives.”

To obtain the highest-level LEED rating, a number of energy efficiency improvements and engineering solutions were made over time. The building is provided with certified green energy, proven by documentation of relevant origin, and air measurements in various office premises regularly show CO2 levels below the maximum permissible limit. Apart from all the technical aspects, it is also important to underline the change of the tenants’ habits, which is also being assessed – more and more people choose to use bicycles, electric cars, scooters or public transport to get to work, as well as limit paper consumption and sort waste, thus reducing their ecological footprint.

The LEED Platinum certificate granted to Zaļā 1 office building is the third highest-level certificate of this program awarded to a project developed by Vastint Latvia. LEED Platinum certificates – the first certificates of such a high level in Latvia – have been awarded also to both office buildings of the Business Garden Rīga at 1 and 2 Malduguņu Street, demonstrating  high-quality property maintenance by Vastint Latvia, which creates comfortable and healthy working and living environments and takes a responsible approach to energy efficiency and sustainability.