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Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City development plan earns LEED-ND Platinum
Japan’s first LEED-ND Platinum project ranks among the biggest LEED-ND Platinum projects in the world and meets the highest international standards for optimizing environmental and human health performance

November 22, 2016
Urban Design Center Kashiwa-no-ha
Mitsui Fudosan, Co., Ltd.

Urban Design Center Kashiwa-no-ha (UDCK) and Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd. announced today that their plan to develop Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City, located outside Tokyo, has earned the LEED® Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) Platinum certification.

This is the first Japanese project to receive the LEED-ND Platinum certification, the highest international standard for ecological and sustainable neighborhood development, and ranks among the largest LEED Platinum-certified projects in the world in terms of land space.

The achievement demonstrates the commitment of Mitsui Fudosan and UDCK to design and build a smart community for optimal environmental and human health performance and to meet the needs of international corporate tenants.

UDCK and Mitsui Fudosan will continue to pursue these initiatives and work toward their goal of providing the highest levels of environmental performance in the world.

Merits Recognized by LEED-ND Platinum Certification

The project was evaluated under the LEED ND rating system, which is applied to multi-purpose regional development projects, and has two stages of certification: the “Plan” and “Built Project,” according to the phases of the development projects. The project to develop Kashiwa-no-ha Innovation Campus and its surrounding area obtained certification for the Plan stage of the development. Each project is rated based on a scorecard on prerequisite criteria, including consideration for the environment, access to transportation, consumption of locally produced food, walkable streets, energy conservation and power generation performance of buildings. The latest project by Mitsui Fudosan and UDCK covers an area of 42 hectares, one of the world’s largest areas to be certified. It required the agreement of many landowners including individuals and corporations, as well as the cooperation of government bodies to submit an application, which led to the certification.

Major Merits

Urban development through public-private-academic partnership
In November 2006, UDCK was created jointly by Kashiwa City, University of Tokyo, Chiba University and others as a community base for advancing urban development in Kashiwa-no-ha area through a partnership between the public, private and academic sectors.
High ratings were given for the pivotal role played by UDCK in laying out the grand design and spearheading pioneering initiatives to create a bustling hub of activity, vibrant community and a pedestrian-friendly city.

UDCK, community base for public-private-academic partnership
Smart location for creating a city that does not depend on automobiles
The area lies adjacent to Kashiwa-no-ha Campus Station on Tsukuba Express Line, thus offering excellent access to public transport. It is only 30 minutes away from central Tokyo. The project aims to reduce the use of automobiles by promoting accessibility by public transportation and enhancing the environment for bicycle use by building cycling paths and bicycle sharing systems.

Kashiwa Smart Cycle
Innovative initiatives unique to the Kashiwa-no-ha area
Preceding initiatives in the Kashiwa-no-ha area, such as visualizing energy usage to heighten the sense of engagement among local citizens and electricity sharing between districts through Japan’s first case of distributed power sourcing, were highly rated for their innovative content.

Kashiwa-no-ha Smart Center
Proximity to an ecologically sound park offering a rich natural environment
Kashiwa City is developing Konbukuro Pond Natural Museum Park, which is home to many rare plants and animals despite its proximity to the train station. Under the guidance of experts, local residents participate in the management of the park. High ratings were given for the unified manner in which a town featuring cutting edge technology coexists with a park where the ecosystem is being preserved.

Konbukuro Pond Natural Museum Park
Guidelines that require new buildings to provide a certain level of environmental performance
The area has been designated a priority area for landscape development under the Landscape Act with the aim of creating spaces that offer quality and comfort. Additionally, voluntary guidelines were adopted for site planning, including the management and use of rainwater, greening programs, arrangement of bicycle parking stations and walkable streets, and on construction planning, such as the creation of an activity hub at the ground floor level, indoor environment, building energy, universal design and waste disposal. High ratings were given for the content of these guidelines.

Walkable streets

In seeking certification, Mitsui Fudosan and UDCK partnered with ZGF Architects in Portland, OR. ZGF has long been involved in the development of Portland, which has often been described as the most environmentally friendly city in the country. In 2016 ZGF was recognized as the #1 Design firm in the United States and #1 in Sustainable Design from the American Institute of Architects.

About Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City

Kashiwa-no-ha area is a “smart city” under phased development by Mitsui Fudosan as its flagship project of its urban development strategy. Through the process of urban development based on the concept of “A New Vision for the Cities of Tomorrow,” we aim to bring to life a city that offers a model solution for the complex social challenges we face today. Kashiwa-no-ha Campus District is also home to the University of Tokyo, Chiba University, national research institutions and incubation facilities for venture enterprises. In developing the district, we are focused on our goal of harnessing the concentration of such facilities to create an international academic city. We have completed the first stage of the development plan for Kashiwa-no-ha Campus District, the Station District. The second stage of development involves the Kashiwa-no-ha Innovation Campus and surrounding areas that recently received the LEED ND Plan Platinum certification. By designating the northern area adjacent to the Station District as the Innovation Campus, we seek to level out the daytime and nighttime population of the area by creating a compact, mixed-use, multifunctional environment with a new Kashiwa-no-ha lifestyle.

In Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City, initiatives are taken to address social issues such as energy sourcing and the accelerated aging of the population by seeking to create “an Environmental-Symbiotic City,” “a City of Health and Longevity” and “a City of New Industry Creation” through the partnership between the public, private and academic sectors. With the Environmental-Symbiotic City, our goal is to harness the rich natural environment offered by Kashiwa-no-ha to develop a futuristic town in which humans coexist with the environment. This includes the symbiotic initiative of transforming the No.2 reservoir for flood prevention into an “Aqua Terrace” waterfront, which was opened to the public on November 22. In the first stage of the development plan, we sought to meet the highest global standards of environmental performance in the Station District. Placing a system of environmental certification that is becoming the globally recognized standard at the basis of urban development is an effective means for advancing our symbiotic initiative and extending it to the surrounding area. It will also enable us to meet the needs of global companies that pay due consideration to reducing environmental impact and promoting employee health, and emphasize the environmental performance of the site and building in selecting a location for their offices and research facilities.

About LEED

LEED is a program for certifying environmental performance engineered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and is an acronym for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.” The program is designed for evaluating the environmental performance of buildings and sites from various standpoints. Projects are divided into categories such as “BD+C (building design and construction),” “ID+C (interior design and construction),” “O+M (operation and maintenance of existing buildings)” and “ND (neighborhood development),” and are ranked as “Certified,” “Silver,” “Gold” and “Platinum.” In the United States, where USGBC is based, a LEED certification is eligible for preferential tax treatment, and due in part to this reason, over 26,000 projects have obtained certification to date. The trend has spread around the world, and registration is sought in more than 160 countries today, with nearly 33,000 projects receiving certification around the world. In Japan, the number of registrations have been steadily rising, and 81 projects have been certified as of August 2016. So far, only a few ND projects have been certified in Japan, due to the considerable effort required. However, many office buildings and commercial complexes have obtained certification in recent years, making LEED the standard program for environmental certification.

The LEEDR certification trademark is owned by the U.S. Green Building Council and is used with permission.