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LEED Buildings
What are LEED Buildings?
The standard for sustainable, energy efficient, "green building" design was moved into the mainstream with the formation of the U.S. Green Building Council in 1993. Their Green Building Rating System, called LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design has become the standard of performance for those seeking to have an immediate, measurable impact on energy conservation, climate change, and occupant health. On average, green buildings use 40% less water, 30% less energy, and reduce landfill construction waste by over 50%.

LEED buildings are rapidly becoming the norm, particularly for local and state government facilities, primarily because of the payback in energy savings and the reduction in carbon emissions over a standard building. The cost of design and certification is on the decline, making it more cost effective for government budgets. LEED certification is granted by the U.S. Green Building Council in recognition of meeting prescribed design and construction standards. Levels range from (lowest) "certified" through Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

LEED Buildings in Roanoke County

The Board of Supervisors recently approved a new internal building policy which provides for LEED or Energy Star certification for all new County facilities, when appropriate.  Below are two new County buildings that have obtained LEED certification.

On July 27, 2010, the Roanoke County Fleet Service Center became the first Roanoke County facility to achieve LEED certification.  LEED "green" features include:

  • Energy efficient construction.
  • Maximization of open space.
  • Reduced heat island via white roof.
  • Optimal storm water management.
  • Use of natural light.
  • Recycled content construction materials.
  • Recycling of construction debris.
  • Water saving plumbing.
  • Heating with automobile waste oil.

On October 12, 2010, the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors was presented with the Gold Certification for the Green Ridge Recreation Center, making it the first facility of its kind in Virginia and one of only 14 in the country to receive this distinction.  In this case, the LEED features included:

  • 30% more energy efficient construction.
  • 52% vegetated open space.
  • Reduced heat island via white roof.
  • Low-E windows.
  • Use of daylight sensors on lighting.
  • 27% recycled content construction materials.
  • Recycling of 77% construction debris.
  • Predicted 41% water saving plumbing.
  • Heat recovery from natatorium dehumidification.