Building Colorado's First LEED®-Certified Industrial Facility

Sustainable design may not be top of mind when you think about industrial real estate—unless you happen to be a development manager at Prologis, where sustainability is a consistent focus and a daily priority. It is Prologis’ stated objective to design new development with a goal of certification where recognized sustainability rating systems are available.

Stapleton Business Center North #1 is the first speculative industrial facility in Colorado to achieve LEED Core & Shell 2009 certification. Since it was a spec building, no client dictated the requirements. Prologis undertook LEED certification knowing that buildings built to the highest sustainability standards reduce operating costs for the user and encourage extended occupancy. We firmly believe that certified buildings are better for customers, communities and investors.

Prologis broke ground at Stapleton Business Center North in 2013. Wayne Barrett, vice president and market officer for Denver, described the land for the project: “There was very little infrastructure, and no improvements had been made to the land, which was originally part of the Denver airport.” In addition to the challenge of limited infrastructure surrounding and supporting the site, the team faced tight delivery timelines to meet the move-in requirements of customers who leased the space while it was being built. Certifying property adds considerable administrative work to ensure sustainability criteria are met and measured, but the team never wavered from their commitment to developing sustainably and seeking certification. And their persistence paid off.

According to Barrett, “Stapleton is the best industrial park in town. Its aesthetic, design and location are all ahead of the market, and these are attributes customers look for and take into consideration in weighing their space options.” While potential customers might not ask for LEED-certified space, they recognize quality when they see it. LEED certification holds developers to a consistent minimum threshold for quality. “It’s an independent way to verify that a building is truly built to sustainable design standards. It’s a validation of what we do,” said Tom Marko, vice president and development manager. Marko added, “Stapleton North sets the standard for state-of-the-art industrial distribution centers. It highlights the best of what we have to offer.” Barrett pointed out that not all potential customers know the term “LEED certified,” but they do seek features that certification supports, including efficient lighting, insulation, landscaping and more. “Certification is becoming increasingly important,” Barrett said.

Customers agree. According to one customer, Evan Matzen, manager of sustainability at HD Supply, “We are proud to add the LEED-certified Prologis Stapleton Business Center to our portfolio and have already received great feedback from our employees who appreciate the thoughtful and efficient design elements that were incorporated into this facility.”

The team at Prologis continues to focus on securing LEED certifications in Colorado, a state recognized as a leader in sustainable development. According to Barrett, “We are in the process of building more than 1.2 million square feet of logistics space in Colorado. All of it will be built to LEED standards and about 794,000 square feet are already complete.”

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