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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 approved a new internal building policy which provides for LEED or Energy Star certification for all new County facilities, when appropriate.  Below are three 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.

On June 23, 2014, the Roanoke County Glenvar Branch Library obtained LEED Silver Certification and became the third Roanoke County facility to be LEED certified. LEED "green" features include:

  • Razed outdated existing library to build a new library on the same site.
  • Kept 64% of the construction and demolition waste out of the landfill by recycling materials (approximately 51 tons).
  • Set aside reserved parking for low-emitting vehicles.
  • Maximized open space on the site.
  • Incorporated a rain garden for stormwater management.
  • Used a light-colored roof to reduce the heat-island effect.
  • Utilized efficient plumbing features, reducing potable water use.
  • Installed efficient HVAC systems for lower-energy use, include a raised-access floor system for underfloor air distribution.
  • Incorporated materials high in recycled content and available regionally, including structural steel, masonry, and concrete.
  • Used low VOC-emitting paints, sealants, and flooring materials.

Currently, the Roanoke County Vinton Branch Library is under construction and many LEED initiatives are being used during construction. The Vinton Branch will be the fourth LEED certified building.  Updates on this building will be available in late 2015.