West Side HQ earns LEED plaudits


Catalyst Partners’ LEED EBOM Platinum-certified office building at 502 Second St. NW. Courtesy Catalyst Partners

A local sustainability consultant earned two awards for its headquarters renovations.

Catalyst Partners’ LEED EBOM Platinum-certified office building renovation at 502 Second St. NW in Grand Rapids recently won awards from both the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan and the U.S. Green Building Council Detroit Region.

USGBC-WM selected the project as its 2019 Green Office Building Award winner. The award recognizes achievement of LEED EBOM certification at the Platinum level. USGBC-WM will present the award at its annual party Jan. 16.

“Achieving LEED Platinum certification is a testament to the commitment by Catalyst Partners to provide the most sustainable work environment for their team,” said Cheri Holman, executive director for USGBC-WM. “As a company founded on building and product optimization, Catalyst Partners serves as a model in our community that high-performance building design and construction is a financially, socially and environmentally responsible choice with exponential benefits that include increased occupant health and low operating costs.”

USGBC Detroit recognized the project with its 2019 Building Award for “Outstanding Sustainable Design” in the category of a small to medium-sized project — under 100,000 square feet — at its Sustainable Detroit Soiree at the Guardian Building held last December.

“We have used our building over the years as a learning lab, an incubator for ideas and experimentation. We learn from everything we do here — it’s a physical manifestation of what works, what doesn’t work, and what the challenges are,” said Keith Winn, president of Catalyst Partners. “We ultimately want our building at 502 Second St. to inspire and encourage our clients to apply what we have learned to their own projects and experience.”

Projects pursuing LEED certification achieve sustainable objectives in location and transportation, sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation.

Catalyst Partners originally renovated the 4,000-square-foot building on Grand Rapids’ West Side to LEED Platinum standards in 2010.

According to Catalyst Partners, the renovation resulted in the building reusing 98% of the existing structure; consuming 55% less energy than a typical office building; using 40% less water than the national baseline; zero stormwater discharge; and many other LEED Platinum standards.

Since March of 2010, the building has housed Catalyst Partners' corporate headquarters, which includes offices, conference areas, shower facilities and a staff kitchen, along with a native landscape that is a certified wildlife habitat. M Retail Solutions, a retail real estate broker, is another tenant.

Catalyst Partners began the subsequent renovation in 2018 because the building housing its offices also serves as an incubator space for green technologies. The project was officially LEED certified in February 2019.

“We are continuing to push forward with additional energy efficiency measures as part of Consumers Energy’s Zero Net Energy pilot program,” said Eric Doyle, director of business development for Catalyst Partners.

Improvements on the original LEED renovations at 502 Second St. included:

  • Converting all light fixtures from fluorescent to mercury-free LEDs.
  • Upgrading pest management practices to mitigate pests and avoid routine application of pesticides.
  • Monitoring hot water use to install a new high-efficiency water heating system.
  • Documenting policies and procedures to provide building occupants best green practices for all building systems.
  • Enhancing indoor air quality and decreasing noise pollution.
  • Ensuring all occupants benefit from comfortable surroundings, natural daylight and beneficial views.
  • Upgrading the native species treescape and landscape to include an outdoor workspace.
  • In 2020, they are firming up plans to achieve the following ahead of their 2030 goals: Removing and replacing the building envelope to improve heating and cooling performance and installing additional solar arrays with the goal of becoming energy positive.

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