Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

leed_platinum_-_gray_4Considered the benchmark in green building design and construction, LEED provides a framework for identifying and implementing measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

This voluntary standard addresses all aspects of a building’s performance: from the application of materials to renewable energy, use of daylghting and natural ventilation, landscaping, the indoor environment, and more. LEED is comprehensive, objective and continuously updated.

To date, more than 16,200 buildings have been certified under this standard, with LEED projects successfully established in 135 countries. LEED certification may be achieved at four levels, according to the number of prerequisites and “points” earned for sustainable design. These include Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum (the highest). As this rating system has evolved over the past decade, certification now extends beyond just buildings to Homes, Schools and Neighborhoods, while Commercial Interiors, Existing Buildings, and Operations and Maintenance have been added to New Construction projects. Already at Berea, there are two LEED buildings on campus: Lincoln Hall (certified Silver, 2004), the first building in Kentucky to earn the LEED plaque; and Boone Tavern (2010), the first hotel in the state to achieve LEED Gold.

Reaching LEED Platinum is still a rare achievement – and even more rare on college campuses. In fact, we’re counting only a handful of Platinum-rated residence halls around the U.S. so far – in California, Arizona, Oregon and North Carolina to name a few. What makes the new space at Berea so special? Our road to Platinum includes:

  • LEED awards 1 credit to projects which uses FSC Certified wood for 50% of all wood material. All of the wood used on the Deep Green Residence Hall project, including temporary forms and bracing, is FSC Certified. (We’re even buying furniture made with FSC Certified wood.)
  • LEED requires 75% of construction waste to be diverted from landfills through reuse or recycling to earn 2 credits. We are diverting no less than 92%.
  • 2 LEED credits are earned by using 20% or more of all building materials derived within 500 miles of the project. More than 73% of all building materials used on Deep Green have been derived within 500 miles.
  • LEED credits are awarded for using onsite renewable energy up to 13% of the building’s annual electrical usage. We’re providing 14%.
  • LEED Energy Efficiency credits top out at 19 credits for reducing energy consumption by 48%. We’re reducing ours by 55%.
  • LEED awards 4 credits for reducing water demand by 40%. We are reducing ours by 44%.

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