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Electronics Leader Gets Paid for Energy Performance
October 5, 2015 - Energy Efficiency
Panasonic Corporation has grown to become one of the world’s largest and most highly regarded producers of electronics. Since the 1980s, the global electronics giant conducted its North American operations from a leased building in Secaucus, New Jersey. Over the years, the aging facility had become technologically outdated, energy-inefficient and unable to serve the company’s evolving needs.
In 2010, Panasonic began researching alternate locations for a new headquarters that would be a model of environmental responsibility. Approximately 40 sites across the country were shortlisted, which included existing Panasonic facilities in the suburbs near Atlanta, Chicago and San Diego. In 2011, Panasonic chose a premium site in downtown Newark, New Jersey due to easy access to the Newark Penn Station transit hub and a $102 million Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit provided by the state. With the new site selected, Panasonic was ready to begin design and development of a new high-performance, sustainable office tower. They needed an energy efficiency program that could grow with them.
Through New Jersey’s Clean Energy Pay for Performance Program, Panasonic took advantage of expert guidance and financial incentives. The Pay for Performance program rewards those who take a comprehensive, whole building approach to saving energy with incentives that are directly linked to actual savings. Through the program, energy experts prepared an energy reduction plan for Panasonic by developing a simulated computer model of the planned tower, offering design suggestions to help it perform 15 percent better than a minimally code-compliant building. The plan included heat recovery units, water-cooled chillers, gas-fired condensing boilers, cogeneration chillers that convert waste heat into cooling, high-efficiency fluorescent and LED lighting, and lighting control strategies like daylight harvesting.
Completed in August of 2013, Panasonic’s headquarters at Two Riverfront Plaza in Newark stands 12 stories tall and spans 303,764 square feet. The modern office tower provides space for approximately 1,000 employees. The project qualified for $440,459 in Pay for Performance incentives by increasing energy efficiency by 15 percent more than required by the state’s current energy code. This rating is the estimated energy savings for the building as built, as compared to the estimated energy savings of the baseline structure. In its first 11 months in Newark, Panasonic reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 56 percent compared to a similar period in its former Secaucus headquarters.
Panasonic’s headquarters is the first office tower in Newark to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum and Gold certifications for new construction. The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system is the premier global certification program recognizing environmental performance and energy efficiency.
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