LEED Certification has become the gold standard in public buildings, and many states are implementing tax incentives to help promote sustainable designs. LEED certification can be applied to both new and renovated buildings. Below, we have put together a list of some of the best LEED-certified public buildings.
First, What is LEED Certification?
LEED is a certification program for buildings which encourages designs that promote sustainability and renewable energy, while minimizing the carbon footprint in the environment. The LEED certification program is point-based system where various components of a building's design and build can earn points. As the points add up, a building can achieve levels of LEED certification ranging from LEED Certified to LEED Platinum. The more points a building is able to earn, the higher the LEED ranking.
Best LEED Renovations
● King St. Station in Seattle, WA is one of the best renovations to fully embrace the LEED program. This building was originally constructed in 1906 and was anything but energy efficient. In 2014 the city completed a full renovation that added an extra 5,000 square feet to the building. Even with the added space, sustainable design initiatives were able to reduce the amount of energy consumed by 68%. The new renovation is LEED Gold certified and still manages to maintain the original grandeur and history of the turn of the century building.
● Close behind this renovation is the Cedar Rapids Public Library in Iowa. Following a devastating flood, the library was rebuilt with sustainability at the forefront. The building earned its LEED Platinum certification through its use of a geothermal HVAC system, abundant natural lighting, and a 24,000-square-foot green roof.
Best LEED Schools
● Lake Area High School in New Orleans, Louisiana recently earned its LEED Silver certificate. Following the floods of Hurricane Katrina, this school was rebuilt with energy efficiency in mind. Between the site selection for the new school, innovative use of stormwater, and the optimization of energy usage, this school is leading the way for LEED designs.
● Not to be outdone, the Taft Information Technology School in Cincinnati, Ohio is LEED Platinum certified. In Ohio alone, there are over 150 LEED certified public schools, leading the nation. The Taft Information Technology School includes a sprawling vegetated roof, exterior sun shades, and a beam-chilled HVAC system.
Best LEED Town Halls
● City Hall in Chandler, Arizona is a LEED Platinum certified building that looks like it is from the future. Not only does this building function as an important public space, but it also includes an interactive wind-powered art gallery. The building's wind-powered art gallery serves an important function as an elaborate shading system, protecting the building from the harsh desert sunlight.
● Pasadena City Hall, located in Pasadena, California, is the proud recipient of a LEED Gold certification. This building is an engineering marvel built to withstand possible earthquakes with structural base isolators.
Many people move in and out of public buildings and interact with the space on a daily basis. Being a LEED-certified public building not only helps to reduce the building's carbon footprint, but can also help to inspire change in each individual's life. At Gausman & Moore we are passionate about sustainability and take pride in being part of several LEED projects. To learn more about what we have accomplished, take a look at our portfolio!