Securian Financial Group’s 401 building at the corner of Sixth and Robert Streets in downtown St. Paul was the first existing building in the city to earn LEED certification five years ago.
LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – is a standard for energy efficiency and sustainability established by the US Green Building Council. LEED certification has become highly sought after across the US as building owners and managers look for ways to save energy dollars and compete for tenants. LEED certification is also an important differentiator for companies competing for talent.
But certification lasts only five years. To retain the LEED designation, Securian’s 401 building had to undergo a more rigorous review than in 2009 because sustainability standards have risen.
“New methods of saving energy emerge regularly and our goal is to keep up with them where they are feasible and cost-effective,” said Julio Fesser, second vice president, Facilities Services, Securian Financial Group. Securian’s campus straddles Robert Street with the 401, opened in 2000, on the West side and the 400, opened in 1982, on the East. They have high Energy Star Ratings of 94 and 87 respectively. The national average is 50.1
Despite its age, the 401 building completed very few physical modifications since 2009 to earn the LEED Silver designation.
“The design of the building was very forward-thinking,” said JB Matthews, Cushman & Wakefield/Northmarq, which manages Securian’s 1,000,000 square feet of commercial space in downtown St. Paul. “The infrastructure in the 401 may be 14 years old, but it certainly aligns with many of today’s sustainability and energy efficiency standards.” Matthews said the changes Securian needed to make to earn LEED Silver this year were mostly procedural.
Recertification is relatively rare in Minnesota. As of late October, Securian’s 401 building is one of only two in St. Paul that has gone through the process.2
Since 1880, Securian Financial Group and its affiliates have provided financial security for individuals and businesses in the form of insurance, investments and retirement plans. Now one of the nation’s largest financial services providers, it is the holding company parent of a group of companies that offer a broad range of financial services.
1 “About ENERGY STAR for commercial and industrial buildings,” http://www.energystar.gov/buildings/about-us
2 “CREDENTIALS,” US Green Building Council, http://www.usgbc.org/projects/existing-buildings