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Architect/Engineer: Cushman & Wakefield
Owner: Adobe Systems
Year Built: 1996-2006
Size: 1 million square feet
LEED Level: Platinum
Between 2000 and 2006, software maker Adobe (ADBE) engaged in a top-to-bottom retrofit of its headquarters, reducing per-employee electricity use by 35% and natural gas use by 41%. Carbon dioxide emissions were cut by 16%, even as the number of employees grew by one-third. The building achieves these reductions, in part, by switching from incandescent lamps to compact fluorescents as well as installing "air economizers" that allows the air-conditioning and distribution systems to use outside air most of the year, improving indoor air quality while reducing heating and cooling costs. What's more, every urinal on-site was converted to a waterless unit, saving an estimated 295,000 gallons of water each month—and nearly $15,000 in reduced water and sewage treatment costs.