Planned Parenthood was founded on the visionary idea that access to sexual and reproductive health care could transform people’s lives.

The Planned Parenthood organization (PPMW) strives to provide a social healthcare community that reduces operational expenses, becomes a better steward of the community, manages a larger social responsibility, helps communities thrive, and truly emphasizes the health and well-being of people.

PPMW set out to create a new 27,000 sf headquarters in Washington DC that was welcoming, safe, and secure for patients and employees – as well as a great place to work. The site was chosen for its location in a diverse, developing neighborhood and access to public transportation and bike lanes.

Built in the shell of an old auto shop, and funded by $19.7 million in private donations, the Carol Whitehill Moses Center is the most thoughtfully designed of all the organization’s facilities nationwide.

PPMW and Stone Real Estate Management engaged architectural firm Form, and engineering firm K2 Engineering, to focus on office aesthetics, patient workflow, employee engagement, and indoor environmental quality.

PPMW also wanted the new space to represent its institutional values, which include sustainable, economic, and environmental responsibility.

Paladino was engaged to fully manage the LEED certification process, and was chosen because of the team’s unrivaled sustainability expertise and proven and rapid processes.

The Planned Parenthood team wanted its office to demonstrate the authenticity of Planned Parenthood’s values by using LEED as a verified third-party system that has integrity. Making our building LEED-compliant also helps with talent attraction, engagement, and retention. Real estate is a significant investment and asset that proves you care about your team. Also, the DC office is a showcase for the national federation, and we wanted to serve as a model for other chapters.

Paladino Approach

To inject LEED certification into this in-progress and fast-moving project, Paladino helped the design team create a sustainability strategy that  embedded sustainability into every aspect of the project – while staying focused on the business values and mission.

When the project started, the team’s sustainability priority was on regulatory compliance, and Paladino helped the design team to elevate the sustainable design aspirations without impacting project timeline or budget by bringing Abundance Thinking to the project.

Paladino recommended updates to the HVAC design, which resulted in approval of an often elusive LEED credit. The project design also included efficient operations, waste, compost, and changing employee and community behaviors.

Results

Originally PPMW set out to achieve LEED Certified, but to the organization’s delight, the project achieved a LEED Gold certification.

Perhaps most importantly, the project became a catalyst to engage employees in thinking about sustainability and how this building contributes to a thriving community.

The project includes a highly efficient, controllable HVAC system, which achieved more than 30% energy and lighting power reduction, and 40% water use efficiency. The team selected efficient fixtures, equipment, and appliances with ENERGY STAR Certification.

The PPMW team ensured that all decisions on performance were made with a bias towards ensuring business value and educating the employees and community on responsible design.