Wells Fargo’s new office buildings to help revitalize downtown Minneapolis neighborhood

By Curt Radkin
May 27th, 2014

Wells Fargo executives – including CEO John Stumpf – joined Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and other top elected officials on May 13 in downtown Minneapolis to officially break ground on a construction project that represents a major investment for Wells Fargo. The project is called Downtown East, and it’s an important investment for Wells Fargo in a number of ways.

It’s an important investment in our company’s future in Minnesota because the two 18-story office towers that are the centerpiece of the project will house about 5,000 team members in Minneapolis – about a fourth of Wells Fargo’s Minnesota workforce. It’s also an important investment in this community, because it will be a critical link connecting the rest of downtown Minneapolis to this newly revitalized neighborhood – Downtown East – which will also be the site of the new home of the Minnesota Vikings.

But to me, Downtown East represents an investment of another kind: an investment in the future of our environment. This project is being designed and constructed to meet LEED Platinum standards – the highest level of LEED certification available. Wells Fargo has more than 12 million square feet of LEED certified projects in our portfolio, but only a few of our properties are LEED Platinum, including our new Hyderabad, India location. We’re also constructing a LEED Platinum project in Manila, Philippines, as well as our first Platinum retail store – a zero net energy location in Hialeah Gardens, Florida. All of these projects are important parts of our commitment to environmental sustainability. But this project is especially important for one simple reason: it’s really, really big.

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The two 18-story towers that are the centerpiece of this project will hold approximately 1.1 million square feet of office space for our team members. That’s the equivalent of more than 19 football fields, or more than 25 acres of office space – all of it LEED Platinum certified. This is our second LEED Platinum project of more than 1 million square feet and, along with the Triple Platinum Duke Energy Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, we believe it will make us the first company with two LEED Platinum projects exceeding a million square feet.

A lot of work goes into designing and constructing a LEED Platinum building of this size, and a lot of different systems help to save energy and water. For example, some of the eco-friendly construction elements and building features at the Downtown East project include:

  • Interior and exterior LED lighting, as well as occupancy sensors, dimming controls and a light harvesting system to help cut energy use by automatically adjusting indoor lighting and maximizing the use of available daylight.
  • A building management system that monitors energy efficiency, along with an energy-efficient HVAC system.
  • Water saving plumbing fixtures and control devices to help reduce water use.
  • Sustainably grown, harvested, and manufactured wood building materials.
  • Indoor bike storage, as well as lockers and showers for riders, to encourage an alternative team member commuting option, which will help reduce energy use and pollution from automobile travel.

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These efforts have us on track to support our corporate goals with 48% energy efficiency, more than 40% water efficiency and a construction waste diversion target of more than 90%, all while enhancing the health and well-being of our team members with natural day lighting, views to the outdoors and excellent indoor air quality.

We’re very excited to move forward with the project, and we’re especially excited to move forward in an environmentally sustainable way. Your feedback is important to us – please let us know what you think.

Tags:   energy   innovation   LEED   Minneapolis   operations   recycling   solar   
Curt Radkin

Curt Radkin

Curt Radkin is a Senior Vice President and Sustainability Strategist for Wells Fargo Corporate Properties Group. He is responsible for developing strategies and working with other Wells Fargo groups and leaders to engage in sustainable practices that will minimize the environmental impact of Wells Fargo’s 100 million square foot corporate real estate portfolio, which accounts for 85% of Wells Fargo’s greenhouse gas emissions. Curt has a BS in Architecture from the Ohio State University and studied architecture at Oxford College in Oxford, England.

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