Rackspace gets gold LEED thumbs-up for corporate headquarters

Slightly more than two years ago, I wrote about the work that up-and-coming hosting company Rackspace was doing to create a green environment as its corporate shindigs. Well, that building -- a converted shopping mall -- has just earned a Gold-level Certification under the U.

Slightly more than two years ago, I wrote about the work that up-and-coming hosting company Rackspace was doing to create a green environment as its corporate shindigs. Well, that building -- a converted shopping mall -- has just earned a Gold-level Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.

The headquarters site covers 1.2 million square feet, and the facility was nicknamed “The Castle” by the company’s “Rackers” (Rackspace-speak for employees). The plan is part of Rackspace's Greenspace Initiative, which is the umbrella program for its energy efficiency efforts. Currently, about 230,000 square feet have been built out with an eye toward water conservation, energy efficiency, materials selection and consideration for indoor environmental features, such as natural lighting.

Overall, more than 1,900 tons of steel and other materials were recycled during the renovation or donated to Habitat for Humanity.

Two design points that I found particularly interesting. First, employees can control the lighting at their individual workstation, in addition to the motion sensors and timers that are installed throughout the facility. Second, the landscaping was designed to require as little water as possible (the building is in San Antonio) and only recycled water is used for irrigation.

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