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United Nations Federal Credit Union Global Headquarters Earns EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Certification for Superior Energy Efficiency

LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y. (March 24, 2011) Court Square Place, owned by the United Nations Federal Credit Union and managed by Cushman and Wakefield, recently earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) prestigious ENERGY STAR certification, the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. 

ENERGY STAR certification signifies that Court Square Place, a 16-story, 274,000-square foot, Class A office building, which is 100 percent occupied, performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and was verified to meet current industry standards for indoor air quality. Court Square Place serves as headquarters for UNFCU on seven floors; the balance is occupied by four additional tenants, including the United Nations.  

Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  

“On behalf of UNFCU’s Board of Directors, management and staff, UNFCU is pleased to accept EPA’s ENERGY STAR in recognition of our many energy efficiency initiatives,” said Charles Bellotti, assistant vice president, Facilities and Real Estate Management at UNFCU. “Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs.”

UNFCU undertook the following actions to earn the ENERGY STAR:

It improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire organization and by making cost-effective improvements to its headquarters. In reducing its carbon footprint even beyond its original eco-friendly design and construction, UNFCU achieved a 9% additional savings in energy by removing 1,008 non-essential lights, changing 167 of these to more efficient LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting for a total reduction of more than 42,000 watts over the past year. 

UNFCU also eliminated 50% of its interior stairwell lamps, replacing these with LED lamps, which brought total energy consumption down by 140,000 kWh per year.  Beyond having reflective materials on the roof, water consumption controls on sinks, elevators in “sleep” mode during low demand periods, Wattstopper controlled timed-exterior lighting and interior lighting sensitive to motion detectors, UNFCU building engineers constantly monitor energy usage and all-green cleaning equipment and products are de rigueur.

“UNFCU started early to make an investment in the long run in terms of its energy management strategies and the effort has paid off considerably,” said Walter Symanski, Chief Engineer, Cushman and Wakefield.  “This is a smart building.”

As further evidence of this, UNFCU recycles 80% of its waste materials, having signed on with a company that effectively reuses post-consumer waste to benefit the planet.  For their part, UNFCU staff on three continents is enthusiastically part of a Green Movement, submitting their personal suggestions, recycling batteries and mobile devices, as well as joining community supported agriculture programs.

“When it’s more important than ever to cut energy costs and reduce pollution in our communities, organizations across America are making their buildings more efficient, raising the bar in energy efficiency and lowering the amount of carbon pollution and other emissions in the air we breathe,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

EPA’s ENERGY STAR energy performance scale helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a 75 or higher on EPA’s 1-100 scale and that maintains a healthy indoor environment may be eligible for the ENERGY STAR.   Commercial buildings that can earn the ENERGY STAR include offices, bank branches, data centers, financial centers, retail stores, courthouses, hospitals, hotels, K-12 schools, medical offices, supermarkets, dormitories, houses of worship, and warehouses.

Not wanting to rest on their laurels, Symanski added, “Our engineers will continue to gather more data and keep up with ecological advancements, such as solar collectors and geo-thermal technology.”  Applying for the 2011 ENERGY STAR begins this summer. 

“Earning the ENERGY STAR is a long process,” added Fabian Cruz, Project Engineer of Consulting Engineers, who verified the building had met EPA standards. “This is an industry event that definitely makes us feel proud.”

ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved nearly $18 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 34 million vehicles.  For more information about ENERGY STAR, please visit www.energystar.gov/buildings.

About United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU):

UNFCU moved to Court Square Place in December 2006 to consolidate its various locations in Manhattan and also jumpstart the economic resurgence of Long Island City development. Established in 1947, UNFCU is committed to offering the United Nations staff, UN Specialized Agencies, former international civil servants and their families globally a wide array of financial products and highly-customized service.  The institution has branches in New York with representative offices in Geneva, Switzerland; Vienna, Austria; Rome, Italy; and Nairobi, Kenya. Ranked 28th out of nearly 7,800 U.S. federal credit unions, UNFCU had more than 91,000 members and $3.3 billion in assets, as of December 31, 2010.

For more information, please visit its website:  www.unfcu.org, or contact:

Elisabeth Philippe, UNFCU, Tel. 347-686-6776, ephilippe@unfcu.com.


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