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First Leed TM Certified Green Buildings Announced in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Green Building Council, News Release
March 30, 2000

The first buildings ever to be certified for sustainable design and construction by the U.S. Green Building Council were announced today at the Council’s Fourth Annual Federal Government Summit. Eleven very distinct buildings from across the U.S. and one from overseas were recognized for achieving LEED TM certification. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a comprehensive rating system that provides direction and definition for sustainable design and construction.

The first 12 LEED-certified buildings range from a school for environmental science at a major university to a state department of environmental protection office building; from the corporate headquarters of a Fortune 500 company to a small office; from a restaurant atop a snowy mountain to a hotel on the side of a jungle ridge; from a military residential complex to a speed-skating oval in an Olympic park; from a life-sciences lab on a corporate campus to a community food bank distribution warehouse; and from a resource center run by a majority utility to an office and educational center for a major environmental foundation.

The 12 include: the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters, Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Ill.; Brengel Technology Center, Johnson Controls, Inc., Milwaukee; The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, Calif.; Energy Resource Center, Southern California Gas Company, a Sempra Energy Company, Downey, Calif.; Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Duquesne, Penn.; Kandalama Hotel, Aitken Spence Hotels, Ltd., Dambull, Sri Lanka; KSBA Architects Office Building, Pittsburgh; Nidus Center for Scientific Enterprise, Monsanto Company, St. Louis; Oquirrh Park Speed Skating Oval, Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic Winter Games 2002, Salt Lake City; Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Southcentral Regional Headquarters, Harrisburg, Penn.; Phillip Merrill Environmental Center Headquarters, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Annapolis, Md.; and the Sundeck Restaurant, Aspen Skiing Company, Aspen, Colo.

"These first 12, which were certified through the standards set by the LEED pilot program, are only the beginning," said Christine Ervin, president and CEO of the USGBC. "They represent a diverse group of building types and prove that any building can be sustainably designed and built. They also reflect the diversity of the USGBC itself, though one not need be a Council member to register for LEED certification."

More than a tool for prescribing standards, LEED is a total system that offers educational guidance and supportive services as well as concise statements of requirements. LEED is a whole-building, integrated approach that encourages design teams to work closely together tackling common problems and developing common solutions.

Though each of the 12 building projects had diverse features that helped them achieve LEED certification, there were several common aspects in all the projects, according to Steve Keppler, LEED program manager. "Each was characterized by highly cooperative design and construction teams workout solutions to sustainable features that made economic sense. Each had a level of innovation for applying sustainable technologies or practices. All the projects exercised good environmental vision with sound economic results such as construction cost savings, energy and resource efficiencies, or lower anticipated operating costs," he said.

Herman Miller, Inc., the designer and marketer of office systems, products and services, was honored with a LEED Pioneer Award at the LEED presentations. Because of its support for LEED from the earliest stages of development, and for including it in constructing the company’s
headquarters in the program, the USGBC recognized their contributions.

LEED offers credits and corresponding points in five design categories, which include sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. A total of 32 credits with 64 possible points divided among the five categories are possible.

To provide support to those using LEED, the U.S. Green Building Council has developed The website offers on-line rulings in applying LEED standards. Also, technical support services and expertise also is available to those in the certification program.

A LEED-professional accreditation program is in development for launch this summer. The program will invite design and construction professionals, as well as owners and real estate professionals, to receive training in adding knowledge and practice of the LEED green building rating system to their skills.

Additional iterations of LEED are being developed by the USGBC. LEED for residential buildings and for building interiors are nearing the drafting/balloting stage, and LEED for building operations is in planning.

"Increasingly, designing and constructing buildings that meet specifications for productivity, efficiency, performance and sustainability are becoming the expected standards for the building industry," said Steven Winter, USGBC board chairman and president of Steven Winter Associates and architectural consulting firm. "LEED is the premier mechanism to helping to transform the building marketplace."

The USGBC is a nonprofit, consensus-based coalition representing the entire building industry. For more information on LEED and the U.S. Green Building Council visit