Ford Center in the North Loop has been awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.
The rating system was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council and intended for buildings that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for "improved environmental and human health performance."
The designation is among only a few of historically designated buildings in the nation to achieve the honor.
The Ford Center, of course, was built in 1912 and one of the first of the automaker's plants in Minnesota. It featured a vertical assembly plant and showroom, a system of manufacturing that was later rendered obsolete in favor of sprawling operations such as the now-shuttered Ford plant in St. Paul.
Ford Center owner United Properties spent $40 million to rehab the structure, which is across the street from Target Field at 420 5th St. in Minneapolis.
The LEED certification mentions several improvements, including high-efficiency mechanical systems that use a state-of-the-art under floor air-delivery system, heavy doses of daylight due to the large, fully restored windows, proximity to mass transit and the use of sustainable remodeling materials.
The 265,000-square-foot building is about 99.5 percent leased -- major tenants include HGA Architects and Engineers, Olson, the branding agency, Atomic Playpen and others.
Janet Moore covers commercial real estate for the Star Tribune.