Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a term familiar with those in the architecture and design community. In recent years, recognition from LEED has almost become a hackneyed label, but it is still a title that should be carried with pride by those that design and construct buildings worthy of this classification.
With more than 2.4 million square feet of real estate garnering LEED certification every day, it may seem like a low barrier to cross. However, strict guidelines must be followed to be granted this designation and can be lost if protocols are not kept up with.
Designations can be earned in energy, water, electricity and waste reductions. Today, many buildings are built to comply with LEED standards, but the United States Green Building Council, the non-profit established in 1993 that denotes LEED certification, also allows existing structures to qualify if particular changes are made.
Today, we take a look at some of 2018’s most notable LEED certification recipients and how they achieved their status.
It does not require steel and metal to gain LEED certification. “Strategies under Sustainable Sites (SS) address impacts by rewarding decisions about the environment surrounding the building, and emphasizing the vital relationships among buildings, ecosystems and ecosystem services. They focus on restoring project site elements, integrating the site with local and regional ecosystems, and preserving the biodiversity on which natural systems rely,” the USGBC says.
Thank you to the Foreign Agriculture Service staff at the @USAinUK Embassy. They have been vital to promoting Virginia products in the UK, and we love their new LEED certified building featuring native #pollinator-friendly gardens! pic.twitter.com/H8pYZFr8Gk
— Pamela Northam (@FirstLadyVA) July 17, 2018
Museums have increasingly become more sustainable. Commercial buildings need to operate as a business themselves, meaning efficiency is critical. This is why so many are looking to save energy, water, and electricity through LEED-standard procedures.
We're a #GreenMuseum & have the certified LEED Gold® bling to prove it!
✔️A green roof covers 50% of the building
✔️A stormwater retention system recycles as much as 18k gal of water a day
✔️70% of the electricity used is green energy
More: https://t.co/86HeEn9MCE @USGBC pic.twitter.com/eirPQaA1ej
— AmRevMuseum (@AmRevMuseum) May 24, 2018
?: A view of the open air canopy on the rooftop of the Brooklyn Children's Museum. The museum is #NYC's first LEED-certified green museum and demonstrates innovative uses of alternative energy sources and renewable building materials. pic.twitter.com/1XEHLZYD8k
— NYC DDC (@NYCDDC) May 22, 2018
College campuses have begun to use their certification as a recruiting tool to prospective students. USGBC says there are more than 240,000 buildings across 4,100 higher education campuses that have LEED certification of some kind.
.@ut_dallas' Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center is the second building on campus to receive the #LEED 'Gold' rating by the @USGBC. Since opening in 2017, the center has hosted 200+ events & 14,000 guests for events such as galas & conferences. @UTDallasAlumni > https://t.co/NJ8At3mlFC pic.twitter.com/kGl5DFAbHO
— Overland Partners (@OverlandPartner) August 9, 2018
How did AU become carbon neutral? By implementing sustainable practices into nearly every facet of campus: from LEED-certified buildings to solar panels, composting to energy conservation, and bikes to biodiesel. #CarbonNeutralAU https://t.co/tEqDA1ItKh
— American University (@AmericanU) April 25, 2018
Did you know @ASU is responsible for the installation of over 173K solar panels ☀️, 57 LEED pending and certified buildings ♻️ and for the production of over 50 megawatts ⚡ of solar energy? https://t.co/Bdw0Nfo41c pic.twitter.com/ct83g0WwIK
— Arizona State University (@ASU) August 6, 2018
— Cornell Engineering (@CornellEng) July 26, 2018
Entertainment venues are also becoming more sustainable, saving organizations valuable dollars in a competitive industry.
— San Diego State University (@SDSU) June 21, 2018
As the largest LEED Gold-certified building in the world, we are proud to be named to @HauteLivingMag's list of the best eco-friendly resorts this #EarthDay. https://t.co/eIc0Uab3Lv pic.twitter.com/y804LLSLgg
— ARIA Las Vegas (@AriaLV) April 22, 2018
The public sector is also saving tax payers money by constructing green buildings.
A huge #sustainability step at MCO! Our Westfield ARFF Station is the 1st public order & safety building in the world to achieve @USGBC LEED v4 Silver Certification. Highlights:
? 54% energy reduction
? Green cleaning supplies
♻️ 45% waste diversion
? https://t.co/PuzfSGKwmc pic.twitter.com/Qm3UBajMf1
— Orlando International Airport (@MCO) June 28, 2018
#LEED Platinum goes to… @VANS_66 Costa Mesa HQ! ? A 1-Megawatt carport #solar array of over 4,000 panels will provide 100% of the building’s energy needs, preventing 440 metric tons of CO2 emissions/yr. – nice work! https://t.co/PFmIGv8xqN pic.twitter.com/FUZxsOxTGx
— USGBC (@USGBC) March 1, 2018